So many of us blindly source the products that are on our shopping lists. We go to the big supermarket and without consideration pick up the steak that came all the way from Poland, or the grapes that traveled from South Africa that are intensively wrapped in plastic or the eggs that came from caged hens. But there is much that we can do for the planet when it comes to our eating habits, if we are just more conscious.
Supermarkets contribute a minimum of 59 billion pieces of single-use plastic to our plastic pollution problem each year.Greenpeace
It is just as easy to choose the food without plastic wrap than with it. Have a few reusable eco-friendly vegetable bags ready for your shopping trip, to avoid putting your non-plastic wrap veggies in a plastic bag!
Less Meat/Animal Products
Animal farming increases pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation. Methane, a greenhouse gas, released from cows and sheep contributes to climate change. Chemicals such as pesticides are used when growing feed crops, one way or another they end up back in the environment.
Animal agriculture has the world’s largest land footprint. It takes up one-third of the Earth’s land surface and is responsible for 30% of biodiversity loss.PETA
Not to ignore the fact that often animals are not treated very well during this process, feeling stressed and in fear. They are pumped with hormones, or forcibly impregnated, then their babies are taken away from a young age. Hens often kept in cages for eggs or chickens filled with drugs in small sheds for meat. If you would like to read more about this, please visit PETA.
A vegetarian or vegan lifestyle would be best, however simply reducing meat and dairy consumption can still have a beneficial impact on the planet.
Source Local Foods
Why not visit the local farm shop, bakers, butchers or fish monger. Choosing foods that are sourced locally will ensures freshness, lowers your carbon footprint and places like these tend to use less plastic. Plus, you will also be supporting local businesses.
I love going to my local farm shop, it sells so many delicious foods. From fresh fruit and vegetables, to locally made ice creams, cakes and fudge. I am just drooling at the thought of it!
Free Range or Organic
Organic food generally means that chemicals were not used during the production, which is much better for the environment.
Go for free range, if you must eat eggs. Free range hens have more freedom than caged hens.
WRAP research shows we now (2018) throw away 6.6 million tonnes of household food waste a year in the UK.Waste and Resources Action Programme
Buy what you need, avoid shopping while hunger and unplanned takeaways, portion control, check dates before purchasing, and plan meals, are all ways that can reduce the amount of food that ends up in the bin. Any food waste you do have be sure to recycle it.
Growing things at home is a great way to know what has been used to grow them, there is no need for plastic wrap and it only travels from your garden to the kitchen so carbon footprint is minimal.
Like many people I am guilty of over buying when I go to the supermarket, usually due to being hungry or the exciting deals available. I do try to avoid foods going in the bin and if I can’t eat it I will freeze it when possible. However I have found that when I make meal plans and discipline myself to not sway from my shopping list, I buy less.
Food for thought.
Have a nice day!