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Healthy eating for the planet

 Zaida Pérez Peralta

As part of our April Eco-Challenge: Use Your Plate to Help the Planet by eating less beef and dairy, some of our sisters and associates are sharing their reflections about sustainable food choices. Today, Sister Zaida Pérez Peralta or our Peru Vice Province writes about her community is adjusting its menu.

Vegetables on display at a farmers market in Lima, Peru

In Peru, we feel blessed by the diversity of vegetables, fruits, menestras (grains) and other plants that Mother Earth produces to help us to enjoy a sustainable and healthy diet.

Using the pastures of Mother Earth for the breeding of animals, we are accustomed to the consumption of beef, pork, lamb or poultry and fish.

In recent years, we have much more information about the importance of consuming more vegetables and fruits rather than meats and dairy. We know that high soil contamination by insecticides and chemical fertilizers affects the animals that feed on these pastures, and then we consume the contaminated meat. We all know one of the effects of this is cancer.

In our CSJ community life, we prioritize the consumption of fruit, bread with avocado or olives, cereal or cañihua (food from the mountains) or coffee at breakfast. For lunch, we combine menestras such as beans or chickpeas or lentils or pallares (beans) with rice because together they make protein. We use grains such as wheat, whole barley and quinoa in very delicious stews.

I want to explain that the source of good taste is in the dressing made with golden garlic in a little vegetable oil and onion to which we add condiments such as salt, ground pepper, dried oregano and vegetables or menestras.

We eat only small portions of red meat, poultry or fish once a week. We are reducing our monthly meat consumption.

A stew our community very much enjoys is the locro de zapallo (zapallo is a type of zucchini big as a pumpkin). The stew has pieces of squash, corn cut from the cob, green beans, peas, a potato cut in small cubes and grated cheese, with a branch of huatacay (herb) to give it good flavor. It is accompanied with rice and a fresh vegetable salad. We serve this with a passionfruit drink

We thank Mother Nature for her generosity.

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