5 Tips for Eating Sustainably
Food from your local supermarket is terrifyingly unsustainable. It uses foreign oil and an incredible amount of resources just to reach your plate. These foods are produced in an unsustainable cycle that won’t support generations to come. So what does sustainable mean? There is no set definition for it, but it is widely accepted that sustainable food is food that is healthy and safe for consumers and animals, does not harm the environment, is humane for workers and provides fair working conditions, and is grown in a way that can be maintained for generations to come.
There are many concerns regarding our food system, but the one that seems to rationalize the food system problems the most is the fact that many people are so far removed from the source of their food. Here are 5 simple ways to be more connected to your roots (literally) and to eat in a more sustainable way:
1. Eat Locally
Local food is one of the best and most sustainable forms of eating. This is because local food didn’t have to travel as far to get to your plate. There are a few ways to do this: visit your local farmer’s market, order from a CSA, or have your farm fresh food delivered to your home or office.
2. Eat Seasonally
Seasonal food is produced when the growing conditions are just right, helping to promote crop rotation, soil quality as well as the quality of the food. Produce that is forced to grow during unnatural growing seasons won’t taste as good anyway!
3. Use Every Part
This one is especially important. For example, instead of buying just a package of chicken drumsticks, buy a whole chicken and roast it. Then, instead of tossing the bones, use them to make a rich and flavorful stock. Not only will you save on waste from buying just drumsticks, you’ll also have a nice chicken broth without all of the packaging from store bought broth. This goes for produce as well: many parts of produce are tossed. The leaves and greens of many plants like celery, beets, and carrots can be used. The stalks of cauliflower and broccoli are great in recipes as well. Try your best to use every part of the items that you buy to get the most out of them (and the most out of your money!).
4. Avoid Packaging
Packaging can be avoided so easily, especially when it comes to buying produce. Instead of buying packaged lettuce or bags of carrots, buy loose lettuce and carrots. Avoid packaging wherever you can to reduce the amount of waste that you produce.
5. Use Less Power
This may seem difficult, but in fact it can be really easy. Instead of boiling beans straight away, soak them overnight. You’ll cut your cooking time in half! While you’re roasting that chicken that we mentioned above, go ahead and bake some muffins for breakfast along with a casserole for tomorrow night’s dinner. Reducing the number of times that you turn on the oven during the week can play a big role in lowering your power usage. One other way to reduce your power usage is to unplug gadgets when you aren’t using them; keeping something plugged in even while you aren’t using it can still take up low amounts of power, but keeping things plugged in all over the house can certainly make a difference.