Blog Action Day 2011: FOOD

Topday is Blog Action Day when bloggers from all over the world blog about the same passionate issue and this year, we are talking about what we all love – FOOD!

As much as we enjoy everything about food, from shopping for ingredients to cooking and eating, we all know the ecological consequences of food.

So what do Eco Etsy members do in order to reduce food related carbon print while enjoying food?

I’m glad you asked because our members have such a variety of ways of reducing the impact on the planet when it comes to food.

Buy From Farmers Market

Lolailo – wrote an awesome article recently, praising a farmers market in her community in CA. She dispelled the notion that “farmers markets are…. elitist and expensive.” but that they are affordable, if not cheaper. But if that’s not the case in your community, she suggests that you “go out there and make some noise” and create the demand!

Cindi of Brasspaperclip discovered farmers markets this year. Better late than never, right? She states that she’s “… relished regular trips to the farmer’s market for the first time this year. I LOVE visiting with the people who grew the food and picked it that morning and have learned new ways to prepare new foods. The fact that it is all organic and locally grown makes it that much sweeter.”

Way to go Cindi! I’m so glad you discovered the ‘secret’!

farm fresh colorful eggs

Shopping at farmers market is all about farm to table concept but it doesn’t involve just the produce. There are a variety of foods at farmers markets these days and Elizabeth Yellow Finch Designs totally embraces the concept. “I always eat healthy and ecofriendly, but recently my husband and I have been focusing on the farm to table concept. We have been utilizing our local farms and markets and eating only what is in season. We also eat local eggs and meat and have even ventured to try local wine and beer to cut back on our carbon footprints.”

I, myself, go to my farmers market for the freshest fish and shellfish from a fish monger – I never knew they existed in my area until I started going to my farmers market! – who sells his catch from the day before.

Eat Less Meat

According to the Meat Eater’s Guide by Environmental Working Group, beef is one of the worse meat for the environment. “Lamb, beef, cheese, pork and farmed salmon generate the most greenhouse gases. With the exception of salmon, they also tend to have the worst environmental impacts, because producing them requires the most resources – mainly chemical fertilizer, feed, fuel, pesticides and water – and pound for pound, they generate more polluting manure”

Rain of Remainedwicked lives almost off the grid in Maine. Her humorous outlook on food makes us think twice about meat and how one can live meatless without even realizing it, if done right, or if done Rain’s way. “I’ve been a vegetarian for 22 years. I’ve lived with my mate for 16 of those 22 years. He says to me today, “I think we should eat less meat. You know, like meatless Mondays or something.” And obviously, she is a great cook because she says “no one notices when there isn’t meat, but somedays I don’t feel like cooking amazing meals …. so they eat chicken patties and roasted potatoes.”

Rain, we’d be very honored to eat your amazing vegetarian meals, so, call us anytime!”

Emmanuelle of Curly Monkey also is a vegetarian who has a different perspective on the American diet, as a French born. “I have been a vegetarian for more than 20 years now. In 2000 I met my husband and moved to the US. I am still in shock when I see the amount of meat people are ingesting daily: breakfast with sausages, omelette and bacon, burgers, barbecues… I cook chicken for my husband (and son) like twice a week. I stopped buying cow’s milk 7 years ago when I started breastfeeding and cannot stand the way animals are treated.”

So where does she get her protein if she’s a vegetarian? “Hemp! I cannot list all the benefits of hemp: excellent source of protein, a little water required to grow, grows everywhere, replenishes the soil…”

So you see, there are alternatives to meat based diet. Try exploring a meatless meal at least once a week.

Buy Smart

Buying in bulk is not only cheaper but it also reduces carbon print tremendously. In.gredient, a package-free store openend in Austin TX this year and I am waiting for the concept to catch on in other cities. Buying foods that are free of packaging creates no waste and costs less, so the added benefit of cheaper prices is worth the trip to the store with your containers. Della of Badart states that’s how she buys food and it’s a way to reduce time and gas.

Try a Variety of Foods

Eating a variety of foods not only diversifies the ecosystem, thereby, protecting the soil and water, but it also provides additional source of food.

Nancy of Soulrole has eaten Jackfruit and shares this description. “It is the largest tree born fruit and can get as large as 80 pounds and 3 ft. long! It has a crazy bumpy texture outside and when you crack it open the soft sweet flesh reminds me of juicy fruit gum! It has large brown seeds that are delicious when baked and the weirdest thing about it is the incredible sticky sap that acts like glue,and in fact is used as an adhesive! You must oil your hands and knife before opening one or everything will stick to you!”

Doesn’t that sound exotic but delicious? So instead of reaching for the same old conventional foods, try something different. As much as we should eat locally grown food when we are home, when we travel, try the indigenous foods. ( By the way, Nancy lives in Hawaii. Lucky girl!)

Speaking of strange foods, Lolailo mentions the strangest food she had was when she was served Cool Whip at a family gathering at a dairy farm! As she puts it, Cool Whip is a “mix of hydrogenated oil with high fructose corn syrup. That cocktail is the product of one perverse mind.” I couldn’t agree with you more and at a dairy farm, no less!

And when I say indigenous, I don’t mean packaged, artificially processed, flavored and colored foods.

Final Thought

I am confident that you do at least one of the above. I think it’s suffice to assume that we are on a good path to being responsible gastronomic adventurers.

But…

“How can we feed the 7 billion people on this Earth, a number which they predict will grow to be 9 billion by year 2050?”

Nancy put it very eloquently when she answered, “….Until humans across the globe can let go of their greed and think of the good of all, I don’t know what can be done sadly. I do believe the Earth has enough resources that no one should ever go hungry.”

With rising food prices all over the globe due to weather related crop devastation, dysfunctional commodity market demand, rising oil prices that cause increased transportation cost, and lack of education, world hunger is not improving. In fact, it’s getting worse.

We need to educate our children, communities, get involved politically, and most of all, appreciate the food sources and support our local farmers.

After all, our next meal depend on it.

Here are other Blog Action Day posts I wrote on Food:

Green Living IdeaRising Food Prices
Perennial ChefChid Obesity and School Lunch
Eco Karen Food Waste

[Images by Lolailo and ecokaren]

This post was written by

Karen Lee – who has written posts on Eco Etsy.
I live a simple life. But want to spread the message that green living is easy if you weave it into your life and choose the right products. So I co-founded Green Sisterhood, a network of green female content writers whose mission is to change the market and to introduce you to wonderful green companies. I also share eco tips, fun DIY's and enviro news on ecokaren. I sell handmade goodies in my Etsy shop and help others open Etsy businesses as a handmade educator. You can connect with me on Facebook , Twitter, Pinterest and on Google +. I'd love to hear from you.

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Comments

  1. Fabulous article!!! I was going to reply and then suddenly it was Monday. We have started eating a lot of Quinoa because it is a complete protein, quick to prepare and we LOVE the texture!!! Off I go to post a link!

  2. Thanks for your contribution of great inspirational stories and experiences for this post. I really had no idea which direction the post was going to go but when I started using the quotes, the theme of the post just flowed. It was amazing how everything just fit in all the right places!!

    You guys ROCK!

    I am amazed by the all the right things y’all are doing to make FOOD as less impacting to the planet as you are. Today was the perfect day to spread the word but let’s continue to do what’s righ everyday. Our kids really deserve better but heck, we should benefit too while we are still around to enjoy it! :)

  3. What a great article! It’s so nice to read how people are making small (and sometimes large) changes in themselves and their diets. It gives me hope in humanity. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Beautifully placed quotes and kickstarted my morning with goodness, definitely shared.
    Thank you so much.

  5. Great article! Thanks for sharing and inspiring!

  6. Interesting article! Had never heard of Jackfruit before. Was inspired to write a post about food for Blog Action Day on my blog as well. Explored how we use food in homeschooling/education, freeganism, and food recovery. In doing the post, I was surprised to learn how much food is wasted in the U.S. and in the state I live in (Minnesota).