Maybe you already eat organic produce. You've cut down on meat. You grow your own lettuce. That's great! But Earth Day is nothing if not a time to consider...what else can we do, especially when it comes to the food we buy and eat?
Danielle Nierenberg of The Food Tank suggests 13 important ways we can reduce the environmental impact of growing, processing, marketing, and disposing of our food. Take a look at the list. I hope you'll add your own recommendations!
1) Eat more colors
The colors of fruits and vegetables are signs of nutritional content. The American Cancer Society reports that richly colored veggies like tomatoes can help prevent cancer and heart disease. Eggs that have brightly orange-colored yolks are also high in cancer-fighting carotenoids, and are more likely to be produced by healthier chickens.
2) Buy food with less packaging
Discarded packaging makes up around one-third of all waste in industrialized countries, impacting the climate, and our air and water quality. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s analysis of different packaging for tomatoes found that polyethylene terephthalate (PET) clamshell packaging increases tomatoes’ associated carbon emissions by 10 percent. What's better? Choose foods you can buy in bulk, and bring your own bags - even to the produce aisle.
3) Choose seasonal produce
Many farmers markets, including the New York City Greenmarkets, offer guides about which products are in season. Locally sourced, seasonal products can also be found at major grocery stores. Or sign up for a weekly CSA, which provides a mix of fresh, seasonal produce throughout the year. Other programs, such as Siren Fish Co.’s SeaSA in San Francisco, offer seasonal meats and seafood.