A few months ago my husband and I joined a sustainable living group. It has been on our mind for a long time and we were interested in expanding our knowledge on it. We gained a lot of insight on this eco-friendly lifestyle, such as adapting to energy-efficient showers, eco-friendly laundry methods and much more. For the purpose of this post I want to focus on the food aspect, because who doesn’t love food?
What is sustainable eating/food?
Sustainable eating means purchasing, growing, or foraging foods that cause the least amount of damage to the ecosystem.
Why does sustainable eating matter to us?
We spent hours hiking and foraging (Note to everyone: although qualified as sustainable, do not eat mushrooms that grow on cow sh*t unless you want a psychedelic experience.) We walked through organic gardens, spent time learning about different livestock, and even met “Sandy the Cow”, who showed her love by licking my jacket! This whole experience brought me to the realization that we need to be mindful of where our food comes from, while appreciating the plants and animals that feed us.
Sustainability, as it pertains to food, means that the meats we choose to put in our bodies were raised humanely and the plants we consume do not harm the environment with chemicals. We should not separate man and our ecosystem, because man is ultimately a part of this ecosystem. Our position may not always be on top of the food chain, because at any given second, this placement can change. Think about being face-to-face with a shark in the ocean or a bear in the woods. We shouldn’t forget that they “own” this planet as much as we do.
Human beings often forget that we are all vulnerable and dependent on each other. The moment we stop respecting nature is the same moment that everything will be lost. We need to honor and respect all plants, animals, and the living beings we hunt or vice versa. Mother Earth (or whatever you want to call it) is beautiful, sacred, and we are all depending on each other for survival. So let’s learn to cook and eat with love, respect, and appreciation for all living beings (whether it’s plants or animals)
There are plenty of resources on the internet on sustainable living, but here are a few important tips we can all keep in mind:
- Eat locally grown products.
- Grow produce in the backyard or a community garden.
- Choose restaurants that use farm to table food.
- Buy organic.
- When it comes to meat, choose grass fed, free range, cage free, etc.
- Purchase wild-caught sustainable seafood. To check if the seafood you are buying is endangered you can review the Seafood Watch list (http://www.seafoodwatch.org/)
- Eat mindfully, which means knowing where our food comes from and how it nourishes the body.
In summary, let’s remind ourselves every day that the choices we make regarding food consumption shapes the earth for future generations to come. Just a little bit of effort from each and every one of us could make a big positive impact to help sustain our beautiful planet.
Written By: Lang Johnson
Healthy Living & Travel Writer