This post is the culmination of a three week journey to find out more about the how, where and why of the food on your dinner plate. To read about about the path both the veggies and the roast chicken took, click here and here.
Finding a Better Way
If reading about the far-flung journey of your roast chicken and vegetables surprised you, you are not alone. You may be wondering if there is a better way to be buying food that doesn’t require planes, trains, ships and automobiles or at least a shorter journey. To wrap up our earth to plate posts, we are going to go over ways you can eat greener for yourself and for the planet by incorporating three simple buying choices that have a big impact.
In a word: Local
Buying local whenever you can is a great way to eat green while also getting tastier, fresher foods. By choosing to support local farms and producers, you are helping to cut out the vast amount of resources that are required to move food all over the world. If your carrots do not require transportation to different states, countries and continents, they come to your table fresher and save the earth from all of the pollution transportation requires. You are also helping support and sustain your local economy. This is a win-win solution with huge impact.
Don’t know where to start? Local Harvest is a great resource for anything from fruits, veggies and meats to local artisanal products. In addition, shop at grocers who have a clear cut labeling policy that tells you where your food was grown and produced.
Eat food in season
Shopping for food in season is not only easier on the earth, but easier on your budget while providing you with fresher food. Eating with the seasons also goes hand in hand with eating local or at least eating food that didn’t travel quite as far and likely will boost your local economy. While it can seem a little daunting to figure out what food is in season, there are great resources out there on the subject, including the website Eat the Seasons.
Waste not, want not
One of the easiest ways to eat greener is to simply use the food you are already buying thereby reducing your food waste. As Americans, we waste up to 40 percent of the food we buy. It is not only not money smart, but it is hugely wasteful of the earth’s resources. There are a variety of simple ways to waste less, use more and save resources. For starters, plan your meals. By planning your meals, you can be sure to be including local, in season foods that you will also be sure to use. Secondly, be realistic when you are meal planning and buy only what you truly will need. Beyond planning and buying accordingly, you can be sure to store food properly, make use of leftovers, monitor what you do have in your fridge and designate a ‘use-it-up’ day.
With these simple tips, you can reduce waste and be on your way to a better way of eating!