As the year begins, people are dying to know what the new trends in 2013 will be. Surprisingly enough, one of the most popular trends in food is sustainability. What the best products are. How to eat local. How to minimize your carbon footprint through being more careful with your consumption habits. This year it seems that sustainable food is very on trend with consumers looking to be more knowledgeable about their purchases.
According to National Geographic sustainable food entails an engagement in practices that keep the environment healthy and food production economically and socially viable. This means producing and consuming food in a manner that is not harmful to the environment and also in a way that creates vitality both economically and socially. Many people automatically think organic is the only sustainable food though sustainability goes beyond your organic carrots. Choosing to purchase only locally sourced products for example supports a sustainable future. As well as purchasing only seasonal fruits and vegetables.
While you might want to start being more conscious about your choices but don’t know where to start a great way to be informed is to check the aptly named Sustainable Food News website. With information on the latest developments in sustainable food. You can also check other news sources and the F.D.A. website to be informed about what is happening.
A great thing to do is start small by focusing on one aspect of your daily diet. For example, your morning cup of joe. Coffee, an integral part of many peoples’ day to day routine, can have a significant impact on the environment. Electing to buy your coffee from a company decicated to sustainable principles can help protect rain forest species, allow coffee growers to earn a decent wage and improve air and water quality.
Another way to approach it is to try and make it more of a focus in your household by including your entire family. Introducing one day, monthly or weekly, when you make all your choices sustainable in some aspect. Sustainable Saturday for example could be a great day to visit a farmers market and teach your family about how buying locally sourced products can help the environment and reduce your carbon footprint.
But sustainability isn’t just about the type of products we buy and how far away they come from, it is also about managing our resources in a way that is conscious of our surroundings. In fact, according to Sustainable Food News, 39 percent of Americans feel the most “green guilt” for wasting food. Considering that approximately 40 percent of food in the U.S. goes uneaten monthly, monitoring consumption is a change that many families can make by planning meals in advance and getting creative with those leftovers. These small changes could save food from being wasted.
Whatever you do from buying local to changing your coffee brand, make an effort to be more conscious about where your food comes from and how it impacts our environment. Read labels. Keep up with food news. Visit farmers markets. Be more conscious of food portions. Every bit that you do is a step toward a sustainable future.