Sustainable food practices promote healthy food and farming techniques to meet our current needs, while safeguarding against the depletion of natural resources for future generations.
Agricultural systems, collective consumption, physical health and fair treatment of workers and animals are all areas we can improve on to nurture and sustain our planet’s resources. It’s an extensive and lifelong process, as any sustainable mission is, but here are five ways you can support and benefit from sustainable food practices in your daily life.
1) Shop Locally
Stick to seasonal produce and try your local farmer’s market to see if you can buy your food from local producers. Not only does this support them, but it also helps build a sustainable local food economy, fosters a healthier community and minimises your carbon footprint through reduced needs to ship produce to your area.
2) Make Better Decisions
Whether it’s culinary herbs in a pot or beans in your back garden, there’s no limits to foods you can grow in the comfort of your own home. By growing your own food for you and your family, you’re ensuring ultimate freshness, nutritional value and a reduced carbon footprint. Of course, growing anything takes time, dedication and patience, helping you appreciate the impact of your buying and consumption decisions.
Mastering the art of cooking allows you to have better control over your food choices, reducing ingredients such as sugars, processed food and meat. Cooking at home often allows you to implement new changes to your daily food habits, such as prioritising plants, being more mindful with your portions, avoiding overeating and reducing food wastage.
When you have the option, try to buy organically grown, additive-free, fair trade produce. Choosing better food whilst shopping can have a monumental impact on the world’s food system, promoting fairer treatment of farmers and animals, lower levels of pesticides and artificial fertilisers, and has higher nutritional value. While these choices might be heavier on the purse, the long-term benefits far outweigh the short-term cost.
3) Steer Clear Of Plastic
In the UK, it’s estimated that five million tonnes of plastic is used every year, nearly half of which is packaging. The environmental cost of plastic remains at an all-time high, even though the industry is currently under enormous pressures to create alternative forms of food packaging. Whether you ditch the straws, pick refilling options instead of bottles or buy cardboard instead of plastic, that’s one step closer to reduced landfill litter and ocean pollution.
4) Check Out Apps For Sustainable Eating
There’s an app for everything these days, and food apps are no different. From informing you about which foods are currently in season, guides to growing your own veggies and low-cost meal deals from local restaurants, there’s an app out there to help you on your sustainable food journey.
5) Discuss Foods With Those Around You
Chat to your kids, neighbours, and local restaurateurs about sustainable food practices and useful resources. Educate your community, share tips and learn about initiatives to help others make more informed decisions about the food we consume. After all, a collective effort is needed to make solid changes in our buying and eating habits.
Let’s reimagine our shared future together. Let’s make a change today.