by Susan Johnson
On Nov. 16 MUSC Office of Health Promotion and Sodexo celebrated the third annual Healthy Holiday Live event with a live cooking demonstration, speakers and vendors that provided information for "greening" the season. For those who were unable to attend the event, here are some ideas for an eco-friendly Thanksgiving:
--Think global, eat local: Shopping local for Thanksgiving meals not only benefits small businesses, but also the environment. Buying local and organic helps preserve the environment by minimizing transportation and chemical pollutants.
Guests will appreciate the taste and nutritional value of foods such as local, organic and heirloom vegetables, whole grains, fresh seafood and organic turkey, most of which are raised without hormones and pesticides. Organic turkey are certified by the USDA and adhere to healthy raising practices, which ban the use of antibiotics and growth hormones.
--Reduce, reuse, recycle: At least 28 billion pounds of edible food is wasted each year — more than 100 pounds per person. One of the best ways to reduce waste this Thanksgiving is to plan ahead for the meal and practicing portion control.
According to Slow Food USA, one-third of food in America goes to waste, adding up to 15 percent of what's in landfills. To prevent food waste, the solution may simply be to cut back on things that aren't as necessary. Having too many side dishes not only leads to food waste but overeating. Try cutting back on the number of items or using smaller dinner plates, which helps with portion control. Send plates of leftovers home with guests, donate to a food bank or nearby homeless shelter, and remember to compost food scraps.
--Give back, give thanks: There is evidence of the interdependencies between human health, well-being and sustainability. These links between healthy lifestyles and sustainable lifestyles define the importance of living right for our health as well as the health of the environment. Take time this Thanksgiving to consider the gifts of the natural world and their value to our well-being. Finally, take time to show gratitude and say thanks to people who matter most and, if possible, spend time in their company.
In the words of John F. Kennedy, "As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." From the Office of Health Promotion and our Wellness Team, have a Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving!
Employee Wellness events
--Flu shot satellite clinic: The next flu shot clinic will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Nov. 28 in the Children's Hospital lobby. For faster service bring completed influenza consent form, found in My Records.
--Farmers markets: Fresh fruits and vegetables are available from local farmers on Wednesday at Ashley River Tower, and Friday from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the horseshoe and the area next to Ashley River Tower.
MUSC Urban Farm
--Early bird maintenance: The Urban Farm needs maintenance from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m., Nov. 27 and Nov. 28.
--Work & learns: A Work & Learn will be held from noon to 1 p.m., Nov. 27 and Nov. 29 at the Urban Farm. The topic will be Herbal Teas from the Garden. Take home some fresh produce in return for work efforts on the farm. Bring water, sunscreen and wear closed-toe shoes. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to register. Open to everyone.
"Like" us on Facebook: "MUSC Urban Farm" and visit our website www.musc.edu/urbanfarm.
Contact Johnson, Ph.D., at email@example.com for information on the Office of Health Promotion and Suzan Benenson Whelan at firstname.lastname@example.org for information about Employee Wellness. Events, classes, or any other ideas are welcome. Find us on Facebook. Like our page and keep up with all the wellness events at MUSC.