With the influx of movies and books such as Super Size Me, Food Inc., and Fast Food Nation, food and its affects on people and the environment has become a central issue in today's society. With the multitude of documentaries, movies, and books on sustainable living, finding a personal starting place can be overwhelming. These ten eco diet tips are a good starting point.
1. Buy Local
Most food bought at grocery stores has traveled over a thousand miles! Transporting that much food at such great distances requires the use of fossil fuels which leads to greenhouse emissions. Challenge yourself to buy food within a one hundred mile radius. This will help to greatly reduce greenhouse emissions.
2. Support your Local Farmer
The easiest was to buy local is to support your local farmer. Most cities have a farmers market or a place to buy local produce. Local farmers are far more likely to practice sustainable farming and keeping them in business helps prevent food production from becoming monopolized. If the saying "you are what you eat" holds any merit, it might not be a bad idea to get to know the people who grow your food.
3. Buy Pesticide and Chemical-Free
Pesticides are not healthy for you or the environment and chemical fertilizers are one of the largest sources of nutrient pollution in rivers and other bodies of water. If possible, try and avoid foods grown with both or either substance.
4. Eat Seasonal Produce
Strawberries in the winter time? Most likely shipped from across the world. The amount of chemicals used to preserve food shipped over great distances should make anyone a little leery. By eating seasonal produce you not only ensure that your food is 'real' but also help to keep local farmers in business.
5. Buy Foods with Less Packaging
This one is simple, packaging and dyes use up trees and end up in landfills. Recycling is a good step, but better to nip the problem in the bud and reduce the amount of packaging you buy.
6. Eat Less Meat
Animal slaughter houses are a huge blight on the ecosystem. They produce huge amounts of carbon emissions and create lagoons of waste that pollute the environment. By a simple reduction in the amount of meat consumed can go along way in helping reduce the pollution.
7. Buy Meat that is Grass Fed
Grass fed animals are far less detrimental to the ecosystem. There waste is more easily assimilated into environment causing less toxic pollution.
The easiest way to reduce the demand for meat is not to eat meat at all. However, when purchasing dairy products try to buy from farmers who use sustainable farming methods.
9. Vegan Diet
The most extreme and probably the most environmentally beneficial diet tip is to adopt a vegan lifestyle. By cutting out all animal products you will reduce your carbon footprint and most likely your waistline too.
10. Be vocal
The best way to raise awareness and initiate change is to be vocal. Ask your grocery store or restaurant where they buy their food from. Applaud them if it is bought locally! Where and how you spend your money makes a huge impact.
Whether you are looking to make a radical lifestyle change or simply become more enviromentally friendly these 10 tips are a great place to start.