Now that we’ve learned about the footprint of food and the major ways it impacts the planet, it’s time to turn that 🧠knowledge into action!🚀Or, maybe you already know all about the footprint of food and are just looking for new ways to better your actions. Well, you’ve come to the right article!
As we’re beginning to realize, many of the actions we take for the planet ultimately have to work for us and our lives. True sustainable changes are 👔custom tailored, not worn off the shelf. However, sometimes things off the shelf fit perfectly. In that case, score!
🍌This especially applies to what we eat and how we eat. At LastObject we aren’t here to pretend like we know what types of foods work for you. This will be more intended to be a great article to get ideas from. Then you can change it up to fit your needs!
Eat more fresh plants!
That’s right, you don’t have to go vegan at the snap of the finger, or vegetarian. Heck, you don’t have to do anything!🥗
🥦By simply eating more vegetables and fruits, we will begin to realize we don’t really need to eat as many animal products as we do. We will begin to realize we can fill up while getting enough protein and other essential nutrition from plants. All while not having to commit to a strict diet of some sort which is actually very hard to do.
For dense nutrition, focus on dark leafy greens. These foods are packed with essential nutrients that leave our bodies surprisingly full.
Variety is key with any way of eating. And eating a wide variety of foods will give us certain unique benefits and nutrients. This is especially important when eating more plants. Mix it up!🌈
Don’t forget about protein and healthy fats!
As for proteins, turn to things like nuts, seeds, and beans!🌰 Foods like soy, hemp hearts, and quinoa are packed with the more essential amino acids for protein. Again, mix it up for well rounded nutrition.
Get healthy fats from avocados, certain nuts like walnuts and pecans, hemp hearts (again), and so on.
Eating more plants should be based on our comfort level and specific needs. Some of us may try eating a plant based meal once per week, or simply more veggies and fruits on our plate. Some of us may be totally 😷grossed out by animal products after learning about them and won’t be eating them anyways! We are all different, and that’s great.
Whatever changes or goals you want to set, set them in a way that is easy enough to do forever. Then, once you’re comfortable, maybe add to them.
Eat food that is grown in a healthy and regenerative way
In the food footprint article we kept mentioning “traditional” and “non-regenerative” ways of growing food. 🧪We also talked about pesticides and fertilizers that harm the planet and can even reach our bodies.
🍎When something is certified organic, this means the food grown meets certain requirements related to pesticides, fertilizers, and processes that help the soil and environment.
Depending on the country, certain pesticides and fertilizers are banned from being used.🚫 GMO seeds are usually not permitted. Processes are also required to maintain healthy soil such as crop rotation and or biodiverse production which either maintains soil or even improves it!
There is much more to organic certification but the main takeaways are less harmful pesticides and fertilizers, better practices for the soil and environment, non GMO, and conservation of resources.💧
This is why it is great to eat organic food. It is better for your health and is grown in a more sustainable way.
Don’t forget, it’s about sourcing the right practices, not necessarily a certification
However, it’s important to recognize that we are really just trying to source our food in better ways. And as we’ve learned with B-Corporations and other certifications: just because a company, or in this case a farmer, isn’t certified doesn’t mean they aren’t doing things in an even healthier and more eco friendly way than the certification. 🌎
Eat foods which are grown as local as possible
As we’ve touched on briefly in the past article, transportation is a key component to the footprint of food.🚚 Especially in our globalized food system that we experience today.
It’s always a great idea to support local farmers. It reduces emissions from transportation, establishes connections with your community, and keeps your money invested locally.
A great option to finding local foods are community co-ops, farmers markets, or even starting your own garden in a community plot or on your property!🌱
Which is better, organic or local food?
Oftentimes, we’ll be at the grocery store and there are all these options for produce. It’s great to have choices, but these choices can sometimes put us into a sustainable conundrum.
We see apples that are grown just 50 miles away, not certified organic. Then we see some apples that are certified organic, but were grown 1,000 miles away.🗺
Which is better?!
It’s complicated...haha JKJK, it isn’t that complicated, or at least it hopefully won’t be after we get into it. Okay, let’s get into it.🕵️♀️
When we are asking the question organic or local, what we are really asking is: which is worse for the environment, pesticides or transport miles?
The best answer is that we should be eating local, organic, and regeneratively grown food. For those who have access to that, do that!
Obviously, not everyone has access to this. 🍏🥕Many don’t even have access to fresh produce at all, which is a problem in itself.
Again, going back to making your diet for you, many of us don’t feel comfortable ingesting foods that have been sprayed with so many pesticides, in this case organic may take priority over local.
The truth is, local food can actually be grown in a very regenerative and organic way that actually exceeds certification requirements. Many farmers just don’t want to go through the trouble or costs of being certified.✍🏼
This is why farmers markets are great, because you are often talking to the farmers themselves, and they will be happy to talk to you about their practices.
Great job, you planet friendly eater you!
It can be pretty dang tough to eat all plant based, fresh, local, and organic food. 🥬But it’s never been about being perfect has it?
With this article, we hope that you simply have more options in your head to choose from now. We don’t have to do all of them at once, but even just choosing one of these will help the planet.✅
Not to mention you'll (probably) be healthier for it.
Put more plants on your plate, eat some organic stuff when possible, and maybe shop/eat locally sourced foods here and there. Or go all in!
There are so many aspects to the environment to focus on, it can be overwhelming.🥵 Don’t be afraid to congratulate yourself for what you are already doing. Because this isn’t an instantaneous transformation, but rather a never-ending journey. 💪
Written by Aaron Burr
A writer dedicated to working solely with companies on a mission to help the earth and people on it.