OK, so we’re all guilty of it. Every time a food shop comes around, we REALLY do intend to head to the local farmers market, but somehow get side tracked by the super convenient, round the corner from your house giant supermarket because it’s JUST that bit easier.
But how much do you really know about the products you buy from the supermarket? Yes they’re undeniably cheaper, but how much good are they actually doing you? Sustainable food has become something of a buzz term over the last few years, adopted by society with varying layers of success. We all know the benefits of locally sourced food, so why aren’t we practising what we preach?
Unless you’ve been living on the moon/under a rock/some other uninhabited area, you’ll probably have heard the phrase ‘Change One Thing’. A super simple idea, and one that if adopted by even those that just read this article, will go some way to making the world we live in happier, healthier, and ultimately more sustainable. So here you have it, our top tips for eating sustainably. Try one, try them all, and Change One Thing in your life today:
Kicking off with the big one. Apart from the obvious benefits of knowing where your food has actually come from, eating locally also has one other huge tick next to it – it reduces carbon pollution. Supermarket food is often carried in refrigerated trucks for hundreds if not thousands of miles, which ain’t doing any good for old mother nature. Food sold at farmers markets, farm stands and other local produce outlets is grown and sourced locally, meaning less miles from field to plate.
Eat in season
We live in a world of instant gratification where wanting everything, every time, everywhere is the norm, and this doesn’t stop with our food demands. Eating strawberries in winter or oranges in summer means they’ve been flown half way across the world, racking up a sizeable carbon footprint. Eating food from your local market means it’s not only in season, but it also means no excess packaging, so win win!
Learn to cook
So now you’re a farmers market convert, you need to actually learn to cook all your tasty new produce! Food blogs are a great place to start if you’re in need of recipe inspiration, and there are a ton of health food blogs out there just ready and waiting to transport you to a new world of healthy eating. We’ve got some serious love for Deliciously Ella and Honestly Healthy.
Tell people to grow stuff and more often than not you’ll be met with a laugh. But SERIOUSLY, it’s not as hard as you think, and even if you’ve only got a pathetic window sill like this green fingered optimist, you really can create your own little patch of nature! Start simple – most herbs like basil, mint, chives and bay need little more than sunshine and a weekly watering to thrive. Loathed to spend money on plant pots? Make use of old odds and ends – long forgotten boots, tea pots, collinders – pretty much ANYTHING can be used as long as it’s well drained and you’re following the super simple to follow planting instructions.
Make use of EVERYTHING
In Australia alone, 1 in 5 bags of shopping is thrown out every single week. Not only is this essentially money going down the drain, it’s also a colossal waste of all the energy and resources it took to get the food to your fridge in the first place. The change is simple – use up everything. Freeze that fruit on the turn and use it in cakes and smoothies. Use up old veggies in a curry. Plan your meals ahead so you know exactly how much of everything you need to buy. No waste = less impact.
Go meat free
OK carnivores out there we here you protesting, so hear us out! Going meat free just one day a week is probably one of the most impactful things you can do. Why? Simply this – the meat industry generates more man-made greenhouse gas emissions than transportation (think all the cars, lorries etc. on the roads). Eat less meat and you’re essentially doing one of the easiest and most effective things to combat climate change. Plus, your body will thank you for it.