As the world seems to shrink with international trade and Internet connectivity, more consumers are examining their purchases than ever before. The food that you purchase at the market usually comes from a variety of locations, from Mexico to Latin America. Although the food selection might be diverse, it’s important to be aware of the items’ backgrounds as they’re quickly purchased.
In fact, your purchasing habits can influence the world and save the environment when you consider certain aspects of the food that you buy.
Buy Local Products
Those international brands and produce may be inexpensive and tasty, but consider the fuel and emissions that are associated with those products’ travels. Trains, ships, and large trucks haul international foods into various countries.
Your selection of these foods only increases the manufacturers’ profit margins and encourages more transports to occur. Ideally, pick foods that have minimal transport times. Food might come from a local farmer only 10 or 20 miles away. To find the most local food choices, visit a farmer’s market. These sellers usually travel within the neighborhood to sell their goods at a relatively low price. Supporting these growers only boosts local economies and encourages more people to work the land.
Understand Those Nutrition Labels
Some foods, such as boxed or canned items, are full of ingredients that are simply unnatural. Salt and preservatives tend to fill these foods. If you eat these items on a regular basis, you may have health issues in the near future. Consuming processed sugars might lead to diabetes, and salty foods may create high blood pressure. You can help society’s overall health by selecting products that are full of natural ingredients.
When processed products have a dip in sales, those manufacturers might think differently about their ingredient lists. One small change in your purchasing habits can help save the environment and lead to real change in the world around you.
Pay Attention to International News
Every nation has a different approach to food and its distribution. Educate yourself about international food systems by watching documentaries and reading news stories regarding various regions. You may learn how your food is processed and which items to enjoy or avoid.
Boycotting a certain product may lead to positive change at that manufacturer’s facility, for example. In fact, you might develop your own idea about proper food distribution. Share this idea with your supermarket or directly with a food manufacturer. Changing the world can happen if you speak to the right people about a good idea. Lead by example, and your idea may change the face of food distribution at the local level.
Consider Meatless Meals
Pork, chicken, and beef meat are common sights on the dinner plate, but these foods do contribute to the environmental decline. Large, land sections dedicated to livestock give rise to higher methane levels in the atmosphere. Crops are cut down to make room for the large cattle. Although you don’t have to become a vegetarian or vegan to help save the environment, choosing to eat meatless meals at least once a week dramatically improves the world.
Instead of meat, serve beans, tofu or other protein-rich alternatives. You’ll also help your digestive system by using plant-based foods on that meatless day too. Plant-based foods have a lot of fiber that helps you clear out your digestive tract. A healthy person lives longer to enjoy the improved environment that’s directly related to your smart eating habits.
Read About Chemical Use on Crops
Many markets advertise their produce as organic. The federal government actually oversees the organic designation so that consumers receive the food under strict guidelines. However, you don’t have to buy all-organic produce to make a difference in the environment and your health. You simply need to understand which foods are more vulnerable under chemical use during cultivation.
Apples, for instance, are sprayed with pesticides during growing seasons. Because consumers eat the apples’ skins, these pesticides may enter the human body. Consider an organic purchase of produce that you typically eat as a whole. Lower profit margins on standard apples might encourage the growers to use more natural ways to eradicate pests and other issues besides applying chemicals to the plants. Items that you peel, such as avocados, don’t have to be organic because any chemicals used on them are on the skin that’s discarded.
Try Raw Products
Eating raw foods means that you aren’t contributing to the food-processing strategies employed by many manufacturers. Raw foods aren’t cooked or processed so you benefit from every nutritional component within that item. These foods are usually perishable too. Transporting them long distances just isn’t possible. As a result, you help save the environment by contributing to fewer emissions in the atmosphere as less vehicles are necessary for food transport.
Many food distributors, such as Hampton Creek, advertise their use of natural ingredients and environmental responsibility. As you carefully choose the food items that you’ll ultimately buy, it’s important to think on a global scale as these distributors try to do. In the end, you can create a healthy meal for your family while reducing environmental damage to the world at large.
By Valerie S.