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Easy Guide to Sustainable Eating

Whether or not you care about the environment, animal rights, or just being a responsible human being on this planet, sustainable living has become a topic that can’t be ignored.  The problem is that there are SO many messages out there, how can you pick and choose which habits to change that will have the most impact?!

Making a change in your life is surmountable if the change is small and relatively easy to do.  If it greatly disrupts your life, how likely are you to stick with it?  Probably not very likely.

While I’m no expert on sustainability, here are 3 of the most impactful, little things you can change about your food habits:

  1. Don’t drink bottled water. Keep a mug at your desk at work, get a reusable bottle from any drugstore, and invest in a Brita filter.
  2. Buy food that’s in season and local. While this idea is up for debate with regard to energy usage, it’s still better for other reasons (produce lasts longer, support the local economy, reduce your food budget).  If you can’t buy local, buy domestically. TIP: Alaskan Seafood is almost ALL sustainably raised or caught.
  3. Cut down on processed foods. Processing is very energy intensive.  I’m not saying that you should NEVER have processed foods (it’s unlikely you’re going to bake yourself a loaf of bread every week), but try and cook from scratch.  If or when you do, make double the amount of food you need and freeze some for a meal later on (rather than being forced to eat out in a time crunch).

If you REALLY want more suggestions: buy fair trade certified, cut down on red meat consumption, or choose organic foods.

2 Comments to "Easy Guide to Sustainable Eating"

  1. Kathe says:

    Oh you picked a topic close to my heart!

    Sustainability is a huge complex issue. What trickles down to the public as actionable items to increase their sustainability is often a mix of ‘better then nothing’ and ‘sexy’. I often think that by simplifying things we are doing folks a disservice.

    Is the local grass-fed beef a better source of protein then the soy raised half way around the world? Is that particular fair trade certification actually doing something or is it just pretty? What about carbon credit offsets; if I by a carbon credit then can I eat my Betsy in peace? Is it more sustainable to juice my own fruit or have it done en mass at a juicing plant?

    We need to consider cradled to grave embodied energy costs, environmental impact, and cultural concerns. As you’ve said, this is more then just a petty environmental concern. It’s about how we are changing our planet and if we can survive that change as a culture.

    • Kate Gardner says:

      Thanks for your thoughtful comments, Kathe. I agree that there are greater issues than just those relating to the environement, though I seriously doubt that there will be one, clear cut answer. I think its important to consider all of the small steps that individuals can take rather than presenting lengthy arguments for or against certain practices. If you have suggestions for ways to make more conscientious choices, I’d love to hear them!

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