The top ten food posts of 2014

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It was a year full of interesting and alarming food stories that seemed to revolve around the theme of what not to eat versus what we should all be eating more of. Read on and, hopefully, feel inspired to clean up your grocery shopping habits, your diet, and your conscience.

10. Berlin supermarket would have zero packaging

© Nau Berlin

In North America, supermarkets have become giant warehouses with row upon row of gleaming aisles, an ever-larger percentage of which are filled with frozen foods vacuum-sealed in plastic and then covered in big, bright cardboard boxes. In Berlin, they are trying to get rid of it all. More in TreeHugger

9. No more "yoga mat" chemical in Subway's bread, thanks to consumer pressure

© Food Babe Petition

Subway was long thought to be the lesser evil of the fast food chains out there, but up until recently its bread contained a chemical foaming agent (ADA) that is illegal in Europe and Australia. The same additive is put in yoga mats to give them that spongy feel. In 2014, however, Subway bowed to consumer pressure and agreed to remove the chemical from its bread. It's a step in the right direction for one company, but there are still plenty out there that continue to use ADA. More on TreeHugger

8. Do you eat for health or environmental sustainability? The Double Pyramid says you can do both.

© Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition

In this unusual take on the traditional food pyramid, Italian researchers created an interesting food diagram that shows how the healthiest foods also tend to be the least environmentally destructive. In other words, by treating your body right, you will also care for the planet. More on TreeHugger

7. 9 things everyone should know about cooking

Kim Becker/CC BY 2.0

A shocking number of people say they "don't cook," which I don't understand. Cooking doesn't have to be a big deal, and it's the easiest and cheapest way to ensure there's ample healthy food on the table. Here are nine pieces of advice I'd give my non-cooking friends. More on TreeHugger

6. Free cookbook teaches you how to eat well on $4 a day

© Leanne Brown

Enough with the excuses! This free downloadable cookbook can show you how to provide your family with healthy meals on a limited budget. What started as a final project for a master's degree program in food studies has turned into a valuable resource that caps the daily budget for basic ingredients at $4 a day. Sounds too good to be true? Download the cookbook and give it a try! More on TreeHugger

5. 5 consumer products linked to illegal rainforest destruction

© Joel Redman of Handcrafted Films. Damage to the forest in the Babassu region of Brazil.

Tropical rainforests are being destroyed illegally at an alarming rate across the planet, but much of the destruction is fuelled by consumer demand for certain products. These are 5 of the worst offenders, and ones you should try to avoid unless sourcing is traceable. More on TreeHugger

4. 11 ways to use nutritional yeast (and why you should)

Nutritional yeast mac and cheese, by Ari Moore/CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast that is rich in vitamin B12, is a complete protein, and can be used as a vegan alternative to dairy products. It has a cheese-like taste that adds flavour and nutrition to a wide variety of foods. Here is a list of the many ways in which one TreeHugger writer uses this "hippie dust." More on TreeHugger

3. Scientists identify the most environmentally harmful animal product in the American diet

Marc Flores/CC BY 2.0

And the winner is... beef! It uses the most land, water, and nitrogen and produces more greenhouse gases than other common sources of animal protein. This is a big deal when you consider that 40 percent of the total land area of the United States is dedicated to producing animal-based products. More on TreeHugger

2. 5 foods you shouldn't eat if you care about the environment

puroticorico/CC BY 2.0

What we choose to put into our bodies on a daily basis has an impact on the environment because consumer demand drives production. Here is a list of 5 foods put together by the Sierra Club that really should be avoided as often as possible. More on TreeHugger

2. 7 foods that are worthy of a financial splurge

My morning shade grown bird friendly organic coffee delivered in mason jars by cargo bike./CC BY 2.0

These are the foods that are worth paying more for, whether it's for the assurance of quality or ethical production. It's okay to penny-pinch with other basics, but at least give these ones a bit of extra thought before picking up any old brand. More on TreeHugger

1. Why it's a good idea to stop eating shrimp

wwarby/CC BY 2.0

Shrimp may be the most popular seafood in America, but it's best left untouched for a number of reasons. Whether wild or farmed, shrimp causes horrendous environmental degradation. There are even accounts of human slaves being used to harvest shrimp in Asia, where most of America's supply comes from. More on TreeHugger

Tags: Cooking | Food Miles | Food Safety

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