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Celebrating Earth Month by Choosing Foods That Support Sustainability



Earth Day is an annual event created to demonstrate their support for environmental protection while educating people on how their everyday choices can impact the environment. With this upcoming celebration on April 22, there are many ways that you can start implementing changes into your lifestyle that will not only benefit the environment but also allow you to live an overall healthy life. One of the many changes you can start with is choosing foods that support sustainability and will make your body and the earth happy.

 

Eat Locally Grown Food

It can be hard to know where your food comes from, with many products at your grocery store coming from thousands of miles away. Not only does purchasing food that was grown on a local farm allow you to know more about the product, such as the process it was involved in to be grown, but it is also helping your local farmers and the economy at the same time.

 

With the food from your local farms being produced at such a close distance, this also means that the items do not have to be transported for hundreds or thousands of miles to be able to be purchased. This reduces pollution. Also, local food is typically fresher, providing you with more nutrients that can help fuel your body. Many grocery stores now have displays featuring foods from local farms.

 

Buy Seasonally Produced Products

Many of the products you love may be produced only at certain times of the year, such as kiwi in the spring or pumpkin in the fall. When you buy seasonal produce, you are reducing your carbon footprint similarly to when you buy local because the food won’t have to be transported from far away.

 

More flavor and nutrients are contained in each of these items, and with the many different options provided during each season, you will be sure to find something you love all year round, which will help reduce food waste and help the economy. Many different resources provide information on what seasonal produce items are available at various times of the year, such as the Seasonal Food Guide  which can help you make the best choices for your shopping.

 

 

Reducing Food Waste

An aspect of sustainable eating often overlooked is the minimization of food waste, where approximately “one-third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted globally, which amounts to about 1.3 billion tons per year” (FAO, 2011). With such a significant amount of food and resources being lost each year, it also means that greenhouse gas emissions caused by this food production are being wasted and harm our environment.

 

There are many simple things that you can do to help prevent this loss, such as planning your meals in advance and only buying the foods that you need. You can also find different ways to store your foods to extend their shelf life, allowing for less food waste while saving you money at the same time. Finding ways to introduce your leftovers into other recipes like those shared on EarthDay.org’s website can be a fun and creative way to minimize this waste and save you time.

 

As we celebrate Earth Day, we should remember that every meal and food choice we make provides an opportunity to support the well-being of our planet and give our bodies the nutrients and energy they need to thrive.  Adding these more sustainable habits to your daily life, even in small incremental changes, can make a remarkable difference in our environment and make healthy living possible for many years to come.

 

References

Earth Day climate friendly recipes. Earth Day. (2020, April 22). https://www.earthday.org/eatmoreplants/ 

 

FAO (2011). Global Food Losses and Food Waste - extent, causes and prevention. Rome, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. https://www.fao.org/3/mb060e/mb060e.pdf 

 

Seasonal Food Guide. (n.d.). https://www.seasonalfoodguide.org/ 

 

 

 

 

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