Whenever I’m shopping for groceries, I try to buy sustainable food. We all need to eat, but the food industry can have an enormous impact on the environment, animal welfare and living conditions of people around the world. Making conscious decisions about the food you buy and eat isn’t always easy, but it is possible. There are a few things that I try to do to ensure that my food comes from sustainable and ethical sources. If you want to shop more responsibly, you can follow some of my golden rules for doing so. They range from buying locally to purchasing the right products.
Buy Locally and Seasonally
Do you know where your food comes from? Sometimes you might look at the label that tells you which country they originated from. However, apart from that, you probably don’t know how or where it’s grown. I try to buy from local sources as much as I possibly can. You could choose to have a wider definition of local if you want to, so it won’t limit you too much. For example, you may wish to buy from the local farmers market, stick to California produce, or buy from anywhere in the United States. Another thing to keep in mind is seasonality. If you buy out of season, the food you get has probably been flown halfway around the world so that you can purchase it.
Grow Your Own
I love growing my own fruit, vegetables and herbs. There are so many things that are easy to grow, even if you don’t have a lot of room. For example, I find it’s very easy to grow basil and chives on the windowsill in my kitchen. You can easily grow a tomato or chilli plant, some strawberries or some squash. Try growing potatoes, beans, peas, melon, and much more. Once you’ve got started, you’ll love seeing what you can grow in your soil and climate. It’s also a good idea to learn some preservation methods too. Then you don’t have to eat everything as soon as you’ve harvested it!
Only Buy What You Need
As a country, we have a terrible problem with food waste, and we’re not alone. Cutting down on how much food we throw away is imperative to me. I start off by being careful about how much I buy. I plan our meals and snacks before going shopping, and I do my best to resist getting anything that’s not on my list. I then have less chance of buying something that will end up going straight in the trash.
Eat Less Meat
Not everyone is cut out to be a vegetarian or vegan. Although some people choose it for their lifestyle, others believe we’re meant to eat meat. I think that if you do want to keep eating meat, you should make an effort to buy less. Keep it for having once or twice a week, perhaps with fish once or twice a week too. Try to have more vegetarian meals, even if you’re not cutting out meat and dairy from your diet.
Eating more food from sustainable sources isn’t too difficult. You just need to educate yourself about where your food comes from.