What is the meaning of sustainable food items?
Getting straight to the point, sustainability is when the production, buying-selling and consumption of food, in turn, do good to the food producers (farmers), buyers-sellers, consumers, the environment and is humane to animals. It basically talks about a healthy balance in the environment. A few examples of sustainable food items that are also eco-friendly include broccoli, garden peas, potatoes, soft cheeses, apples, onions, oranges, pears, beans, small fishes like anchovies and sardines. Make this your shopping mantra from the next time you go to the market – “buy only what you need” – and consume them while they are still fresh so as to get the necessary nutrients and to reduce the amount of food you throw out. Who wants to eat reheated dinner for lunch anyway? Remember that seasonal food items are the most nutritious and sustainable. Also, for example, if mangoes are in season, they will be available in plenty and therefore not as expensive. So that’s a win-win for you as a consumer.
What is a carbon footprint and how can you reduce it?
Buying local food items from your nearest market reduces the time you spend travelling to and fro, thereby decreasing your carbon footprint. Carbon footprint stands for the amount of carbon dioxide you release into the atmosphere as a result of any activity. Think before you ignite your machine and get driving to supermarkets miles away from your residence. Do you really need to burn all that fuel? Considering the result of your actions on the environment or even thinking about it and being aware of it is step one. Step two is when you act in favour of the environment. Buying fresh, local produce (seasonal produce) will not only help the farmers but also reduce your carbon footprint and give you sustainable, nutritious food.
How to be an educated consumer?
It is extremely important to be aware of your actions and how it has an effect not just on you but also the environment. Sometimes, people buy products in bulk imagining it to be a cheaper approach and often end up wasting more. See how directly proportional it is – when you buy heaps, the chances of wasting more increases too. Always ask yourself the questions – Do I really need this? How long will this last as a nutritious food item? Is this seasonal?
Before you hit the market the next time, make sure that you have done your study and go as an educated consumer. Optimise your run to the market and consider the effect of your purchase of a particular food item and the quantity of the purchase. The following are 5 little ways you make the most of your trip to the market: –
- Make a list of all the supplies and groceries that you’re short of
- Look up the seasonal fruits and vegetables if you’re unsure
- Go to your local market if the above items can be found there
- Walk to the market (bye bye carbon footprints!)
- Buy just what you need and will consume fresh
An educated consumer is a happy customer because you’ll know you’ve kept a watch on your budget and made the most of your time.
Find out what’s in season in India over here.
Read what’s in season in Australia over here.