This post was originally published on my blog, ecokaren, last year but with the recent disappointing news about GE Alfalfa being approved by the USDA, I thought I’d re-post this list so that we can remind ourselves how to eat more sustainably. I know many of you are already following these practices but I thought we should re-visit them and see what else we can do.
25 Ways to Eat Sustainably
- Use the WHOLE vegetable â€“ the stalk, leaves, the whole kit and kaboodle.
- Get to the root â€“ buy loose vegetables and not the factory â€˜boxedâ€™ kinds.
- Be a farmersâ€™ market regular and get staples â€“ onions, potatoes, herbs, etc. that you always use and need
- Buy Heirloom â€“ def. of heirloom â€“ crop from seeds that have been passed down for generations, grown in small crops that may restore the health of the soil
- Stock up â€“ buy in bulk when in season and freeze, pickle or preserve it
- Get advice â€“ for recipes from farmers
- Challenge yourself â€“ use up weekâ€™s worth of meal.
- Local is always the priority. If you canâ€™t buy local, buy organic.
- Buy local eggs â€“ with recent recalls of millions of factory eggs due to Salmonella outbreak, need I say more?
- Use your basement to keep your hardy vegetables like squash, sweet potatoes, beets, turnips, and rutabagas. They will keep up to six months in temperatures 40âˆ˜FÂ or below. Store them as close to the time they were harvested as possible â€“ preferably unwashed, green tops will attached and packed in sawdust or moist peat moss.
- Let farm-fresh food delivered â€“ CSA. If you canâ€™t use up one portion, go in on it with a friend of a neighbor.
- Be packaged conscious when buying food from the supermarket.
- Google your milk. Not all organic milks are created equal. Check your brand at sustainable.org and opt for antibiotic and rBGH-free (no artificial bovine growth hormones)
- Use unprocessed grains. White rice is process. Go for brown rice, barley, quinoa or farro. they are healthier for you too. Better yet, go for buckwheat as they can improve soil quality.
- Soak beans and grains overnight. Youâ€™ll cut cooking time and energy usage in half!
- Read labels. Donâ€™t buy any packaged foods that have more than five ingredients or ingredients you cannot pronounce, nothing artificial, and no cartoons on the package.
- Freeze organic berries when they are in season. Berries are on top of the organic foods to buy list. Buy them when they are in season and freeze them to have in the winter.
- Make your own seltzer â€“ I reviewed Soda Stream and we still use the machine. We donâ€™t buy seltzer waters anymore and it is great for keeping soda bottles out of the landfill andÂ making delicious fruit spritzers.
- Buy local bread â€“ buy bread from your local bakery or farmers market. It comes without packaging, it will be fresher, and the chances are, it will have fewer ingredients.
- Make homemade breadcrumbs and croutons. Why buy packaged ones when you can make them with stale bread so easily?
- Read PLU codes â€“ any item with PLU codes starting with â€™9â€² is organic.
- Become friends with local growers and fishermen so you can find out whatâ€™s being picked or caught. Youâ€™ll know where your food comes from.
- Cut out processed corn. THIS is biggie. Avoid buying items with corn or corn-based substances (corn oil, cornstarch, or corn syrup) as ingredients. According to the USDA, at least 85 percent of the corn grown in this country has been genetically modified, meaning the plants were altered to make them more pest resistant.
- Eat more REAL corn. Ask your farmer if he uses GMO corn seeds (or from Monsantoâ€™s roundup seeds).
- Wash vegetables submerged in a basin and not under the running water.
To read 25 More Ways to Eat Sustainbly, go to Part 2 of the series posted here.
All Photos: by ecokaren