Culinista Kitchen®,  Recipes & Cooking

Our Favorite Sustainable Ingredients

by The Culinistas


One of the most climate friendly proteins, lentils take very little energy to produce, leading to low greenhouse gas emissions. The small but mighty grain has many applications, grain salads are obvious, but veggie burgers, soups, and stews also benefit from a lentil boost.


When eating sustainably, you’ll want to steer clear of foods that use a lot of fertilizers and pesticides. Cruciferous veg like broccoli, brussels, and cauliflower have their own natural pesticides built in. Some studies suggest that broccoli helps your body get rid of harmful pollutants you inhale everyday. So, it shows up for the planet and it shows up for you!


Here’s the down low: mussels are low on the food chain, meaning they’re more sustainable to consume, taking less energy to exist themselves. They clean the ocean of toxins, and they’re easy to farm, promoting a low carbon footprint. Moules frites anyone?


All seaweed is edible seaweed, and you should be eating more of it! It’s a dream to farm since it can be grown and harvested at all times in pretty much any type of water with no pesticides or fertilizers. While overgrowing crops like corn strips the soil of nutrients, growing seaweed actually makes the water around it healthier. Win, win, win!


Fig trees can bounce back from essentially anything. Once the leaves fall and decompose into the ground, the soil below is fertilized and healthy. Birds and bats love figs, they spread fig seeds and the seeds from other trees, facilitating biodiversity and forest regeneration. Figs are coming up on their 80 millionth birthday (we know, they don’t look a day over 16!) and are vital to many different animal and insect species.

A special thanks to Sylvie Rosokoff for the beautiful photograph.