People used to eat sustainably up to the 20th century. Isn't that absurd? And then came the massive leap into the age of mass industry, plastic, capitalism, and materialism. Our food got worse in quality, but the quantities grew. Eventually, food got cheaper, especially the precooked kind wrapped in 10 types of plastic. How easily things can take a turn for the worse.
Why everybody should eat (more) sustainably
Firstly, we are being separated from the origins of our food. We lack a relationship with what we put in our mouths. Consequently, many people look for the cheapest source of “fuel” available without regard to health benefits (or risks), impact on the local economy, and impact on the environment.
Most of the foods in supermarkets are transported and processed heavily, all of that is based on non-renewable sources. A lot of food, especially exotic food, originates from third world countries where modern slavery is highly tolerated. Workers are heavily exploited, not just by their work hours, but their health and their lives are constantly put at risk in dangerous conditions.
And there is the exploitation of animals, done purely for profit, without the regards of environment or their well-being, or, moreover, our health. But if you’re reading this, you must have already known all of this. It’s just good to be reminded every now and then, that what we put on our plates, can have enormous consequences of the world.
How to eat more sustainably
Visit farmers market
Take yourself on a date. Go early. Chat with the farmers, grab some breakfast and do a few laps before buying fresh local produce. If no farmers market is accessible to you, visit reliable, sustainable food stores. Buy in bulk or with your own containers if possible.
A plant-based diet is the most sustainable in terms of resources. Tons of research claim how beneficial it is to health as well. Focus on seasonal dark leafy greens!
Learn to cook
Trying out new recipes can be daunting, but we are on a mission to make it fun, easy, and fast so that the whole family can enjoy new dishes. Browse through our recipe section for some new ideas, or follow us on Pinterest. Also make your own granola, vegetable stock, pesto, tomato sauce, …
Preserve the harvest
Eating seasonally is one of the best things you can do for the environment. But then comes the winter and the natural lack of fresh local produce. To prepare yourself for the winter season, try canning, fermenting (red sauerkraut or white sauerkraut, for instance), dehydrating, and freezing fresh produce when it is in season.
To continue the previous point, eat seasonally. Pomegranate, brussels sprouts, beets, citrus, turnip, kale in winter. Broccoli, radishes, dandelion, peas in spring. Tomatoes, lemons, blueberries, zucchini, lettuce in summer. Chestnuts, mushrooms, pears, potatoes, pumpkins in fall. And so on.
Grow your own
If you can, do it! So many veggies and fruits are easy to maintain and grow. Start with lettuce, herbs, and peas. Once you see how fast things grow, you’ll be addicted. There’s nothing better than growing your food, where you can know what soil there is and avoid unnecessary toxic products that a lot of conventional farmers use.
Plan the meals
By carefully planning the week, you will spend less money on grocery shopping, less time shopping, produce less waste, and also know exactly what to buy and where to buy it. Plan a visit to the farmers market or a zero-waste store ahead. Have a shopping list ready. In case you’ve missed it, here is guide to family meal planning.
Slow down for a minute. Chew carefully and observe how the taste of the dish overwhelms your body. Be grateful for what you have on the plate, and don’t take it for granted. Establish a long-lasting, loving relationship with the food you eat. After all, what you eat is what you are. Being mindful pays off.
I wish you all the best in pursuing the wonderful mission of eating more sustainably. It’s a lovely journey, but remember – nobody is perfect and you don’t have to be either. Allow yourself to do the best you can.
Written by Masha.