Eating is the everlasting theme in our life, since we cannot survive without it. But do we “eat to live” or “live to eat”? Well, to many people the latter might seem the case, because our instinct suggests that our desire to eat is governed not only by hunger but also by our appetite. Unfortunately this may sometimes lead to serious problems that hurt both our health and the earth.

Just imagine there is a bunch of meat-enthusiasts. Predictably, they are overweight, taking in much more fat than needed. Besides, animals suffer and the vegetation also has a rough time because of overgrazing. What’s worse, global warming is intensified by emissions during the various stages of meat processing, from transportation to packaging. Appetites are driving people towards unbalanced diets which do no good to our health or the environment.

Eating healthily creates harmony within a person and wholeness on the earth, some dietitians and environmentalists propose, “and we thus hope to rebuild our relationship with our surroundings, in a caring and forward-moving attitude. It is a sound idea that mixes Chinese philosophy and dietary habits. Eating is not solely personal behaviour, but also closely linked with the well-being of the whole of society.

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There are several recommendations for proper eating. Firstly, caring about the earth is the bottom line for human health. To respect life and live in harmony with all creatures, we should start with less meat and more vegetables. Also, we should treasure resources and reduce food waste, which can help protect nature and the endless cycle of life. Secondly, we should pay more attention to food production processes and individual consumption habits. If we make sure we pay for what we need rather than what we want, we can live a simple “low carbon life” with a full and rich spirit. Thirdly, be a smart and caring cook. Choose food with multiple nutrition and colours (no colour additives, of course). Chinese traditional medicine theory claims that different colours link to different organs of our body. So a variety of food colours can benefit more parts of our body and create a balance. Lastly, eat with gratitude.  A more caring approach in eating can lead to less waste in life. And in this way we can build harmony within ourselves and in our relationship with the environment, for the sake of all the living beings on earth.