Sometimes I feel like I spend my entire day with food. I feed five people three meals a day (with countless snacks in between) and it’s rare that I go more than 48 hours without gracing the doors of the grocery store. So it makes sense that changing the way we eat–especially as families–can make a big environmental impact.
The April 2012 issue of Family Circle magazine had some great pointers on how to make a few simple tweaks. Tanya Denckla Cobb, author of “Reclaiming Our Food,” suggests that the easiest way to help the environment is to be responsible about what we eat.
Here are a few ideas:
- Shop locally: I love pineapple, but is it reasonable to expect to eat it year-round? It’s a question our family has wrestled with in our attempts to be better stewards of our earth. The average bite of food in the United States travels 1,300 miles before it’s consumed, according to the Food Awareness Project. We can cut down on the energy and fuel to transport all that food by buying food grown nearby when it’s in season.
- Go grass-fed: ”Meat production is an energy-intensive business, but you can reduce your carbon footprint by opting for grass-fed beef,” the article says. When animals eat foliage, there’s no reason to grow or transport extra hay. Plus grass-fed beef is a lot healthier, packing in twice as much omega-3s per serving as grain-fed.
- Buy organic: When you opt for organic food, you’re cutting out the hormones, antibiotics and pesticides found in conventional farming methods. The challenge is that it’s more expensive. But I’ve found that if you eliminate the processed, pre-packaged foods (juice boxes, individually wrapped snacks, etc.) then you often break even when choosing organic.