Many of us are concerned about our food supply, and prefer to eat healthier diets whether for weight loss or disease prevention (or both). But sustainability is another growing concern. More of us are becoming aware of the environmental concerns created by our food supply chain, which requires an enormous amount of energy output, factory farming, and other unpopular necessities.
Luckily there are ways to eat more sustainably, and at the same time benefit your health. Incorporate the following habits into your food regimen, and you can lower your footprint while also supporting your weight loss plan.
Shop at local farmers markets. When your food is locally grown, you save a massive amount of energy that is normally required to ship fruits and vegetables across the country (or even around the world). Plus, your produce will be fresher and more delicious. You can visit traditional in-person farmer’s markets, or join a co-op that allows for easy weekly or bi-weekly pickups.
Ask about “seconds”. Some farmers at the market will bring “seconds” for customers who inquire. These odd-looking or misshapen produce are just as healthy and safe to eat as the “pretty” ones on display. Purchasing them (usually at a discount) means less waste and more food for everyone.
Patronize local meat, egg, and dairy producers. Buying from small, local farms producing meat, eggs, and milk not only reduce the energy costs of shipping; their animals are often treated much more humanely as well. These animals are often raised without GMO feeds, antibiotics, and hormones, which concern many consumers from a health perspective.
Eat seasonal produce. When you purchase produce that is out of season for your growing zone, you can almost guarantee that it was trucked in from another location (unless you know for sure that a local farm is using a greenhouse for production). One theory behind seasonal eating is that nature provides the nutrients we need at specific times of year. This isn’t proven, but makes sense and might appeal to you.
Grow your own. With just a little investment and some effort at learning, almost anyone can grow a small organic garden. Choose one to three of your favorite fruits, vegetables, or herbs that grow well in your area. Tomatoes make great choices, because you can eat them fresh or can your own organic sauce. Herbs and salad greens are another great choice, because they taste better and contain more nutrients when eaten right after picking. With practice you might develop a knack for gardening and continue to expand on variety.
Learn to preserve. Pickling, canning, and fermenting your own vegetables when they are picked at the peak of freshness will ensure that you have a supply of healthy food on hand. And fermented foods are particularly good for you!
Remember that we’re available to talk if you have questions about healthful eating, anti-aging regimens, or a weight loss plan. Just give us a call and we’ll schedule an appointment to discuss your goals.