The obvious answer is that it’s delicious and healthy but clean air is kind of essential…The health and fitness boom is fantastic, it’s great how people want to take care of their bodies. This has sparked an interest in organic cleaner food which in many cases leads to a cleaner environment. But when it comes to health consciousness the discussion about our air is really missing. I think it’s because it’s much easier to have control over what you put in your mouth than what you breathe, but if enough people are engaged you can actually have control over your environment as well.
As with all trends usually just some things get more attention than others. Sharing healthy recipes is way more fun than sharing tips on where to breathe the cleanest air. The air quality can only be visible by the grey cold I had running out of my nose when I lived in London. But really, isn’t it quite disgusting when what’s running from your nose is black? In London, it’s been shown that spending a lot of time in parks significantly improves your health. Luckily I love parks. If I have nothing to do a day, I’ll always head to a park, with friends or to read a book. I can feel that it’s so much nicer to breathe somewhere like a greenhouse, whenever I travel I always want to visit the Botanical Gardens, this pic is from Glasgow.
On some days, the air quality in Helsinki can reach unhealthy levels too, unfortunately. Right now, the air quality in Kallio is quite bad. Kallio is really cool but there are too little green areas there, no parks!
When offering a slice of cake it is not uncommon to hear “no thank you, I don’t eat sugar”, despite hurting someones feelings who just baked cake for everyone. I’ve never heard anyone say “Could you please leave your diesel car at home when you come visit me? I’m trying this new clean air ‘diet’ now”. I wish the latter was socially acceptable, maybe we could make it? From a health perspective the second question might actually do you more benefit!
Air-pollution globally kills more people than HIV and Malaria together. More than 3 million people per year is known to die from spending time outdoors in polluted air. Alcohol-related deaths are just half of that. Sugar, for comparison, is linked only to 180.000 deaths per year. 3 000 000 vs. 180 000. Over 16 times more suffer from air than unhealthy food.
Eating goji-berries and avocado is considered more health-promoting than being an environmental activist trying to get more legislation to air-pollution. Way more blogs are concerned with just the food we eat than the air we breathe. But no amount of goji-berries can make up for clean air! 50 000 Europeans die annually from emissions just from sea-shipping. Toxic air-pollution is linked to Alzheimers. So why do Superfoods get so much more talk and attention when clean air is what we need the most? I’m sure there’s room for both, I still need those blogs with vegetarian recipes but we need much more attention to clean air.
Avocado used to be normal in guacamole, now it’s in everything. Trendy health foods have tripled in demand during the past years which might sound good from a health perspective but can be quite problematic. A while ago I sat having lunch with some friends at uni, and one girl told me she doesn’t really like avocado but she’s trying to learn liking it because its so healthy. Well I truly hope she doesn’t start liking them because the avocado-boom has led to massive deforestation in Mexico. Making the air-quality in Mexico worse, making the health of many Mexicans worse. Bye bye forrest, we just need the avocados as we are suddenly putting avocado in everything you possibly can… But to be really honest with you, I love Guacamole to the extent that maybe if someones health is harmed because I want my avocado it’s okay.But just so everyone knows and can make an informed choice. And no more avocado than once per month, I mean there’s a limit to how many humans, animals and plats I want to kill 😉 .
And a final note… Since goji-berries usually come from China I prefer locally produced Finnish blueberries, cranberries and lingonberries that are just as healthy. The air-pollution in China is so bad I preferably don’t eat anything grown there. Locally produced also means less transport and less air-pollution.
5 things you can do for a cleaner air and a better health:
- Promote planting trees in cities, as they clean the air. Green roofs are also good, could that be done on your building?
- Do not drive on diesel, tell people around you about the harmful particulate matters from diesel engines that damage your health. And make sure your electricity doesn’t come from burning coal.
- Use less paper and cardboard, and recycle it properly! Saving trees saves our lives too.
- Cycle instead of using buses, although in London, you should check air-pollution levels before exercising in the city.
- V0te in the local elections for politicians who care about our air quality!! London’s new mayor Sadiq Khan is a great example of how the problem is tackled on a political level. Both the UK and Finland are democracies, you can affect the air quality when voting!
Hugs and kisses to everyone to takes the time to read this!! I understand that looking at fitness bloggers stunning pictures of themselves and their gorgeous smoothies can be a bit more uplifting, I’ll try to do a better job with the photos in the future 😉