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Going Green with Your Cuisine
Author: be well™ with Big Y® Registered Dietitian Team
Show your support for a cleaner environment by leveraging your power as a consumer. Invest in more earth-friendly products, brands and food production practices as you check off your weekly shopping lists.
Keeping your food dollars local may actually go the furthest for greening your cuisine. Buying products grown and produced locally may result in having your food travel fewer food miles because products have a shorter path from farm to fork. You also invest in the land, families and the economic success of your neighbors. Buying local increases the likelihood of knowing your farmer, too. This is essential because you may learn they aren’t a certified organic farm, but they do follow organic farming practices and only use synthetic pesticides if necessary to save their crop (and thereby their livelihood) from invading mold, insects, etc.
One of the best ways to support sustainable efforts is to buy from your own community. Check out our local partners here.
Organic farming focuses on managing pests with practices like crop rotation, versus relying heavily on synthetic chemical (e.g.: pesticide) intervention. Although being organic doesn’t mean a food is pesticide free, organic farming may result in the use of fewer synthetic pesticides when compared to conventional farming.
Support Green Manufacturing
Whether their packaging is made from recycled material, their production plant is solar powered or they invest in credible carbon-offsetting, forest-management projects, many food manufacturers are doing their part. With a little bit of research, you can find brands that align with your ideology, and support their success.
Waste Less, Want Less
Whether more local foods and organic products are available on our shelves, or eco-friendly brands thrive, is up to you as the consumer. This correlates to how much waste you create as a consumer, too. If you shop for what you will eat and use, versus what your eyes want, you can exponentially reduce the amount of food waste and trash your purchases create:
- Build meals based on recommended servings from Food Groups.
- Utilize leftover ingredients from one recipe to the next.
- Consider composting food scraps for use in your own garden.