Fast food restaurants and processed foods have been readily available for many years – and for far too long. When we need a meal, we often pick up whatever’s most convenient without thinking about why the food was so easy to access.
Some methods of preparing certain foods can be harmful to other humans, animals, and the environment. Take responsibility and consider adopting these 4 tips for eating more ethically.
1) Support Local Farmers
Purchase your meat and produce from a local farmer. Local farmers often raise their animals on a pasture rather than in a cramped and confined space. Getting produce from local growers also cuts down on transportation costs and encourages the use of green space in your community.
It’s possible to enjoy ethical and convenient eating simultaneously! You don’t have to interrupt your day to drive out to a local farm. Some local farmers like Seven Sons at https://sevensons.net deliver organic groceries right to your doorstep.
2) Cut Down on Palm Oil
The palm oil industry is cutting and burning down rain forests on tropical Asian islands like Borneo to pave the way for palm oil plantations. These destructive practices are putting orangutans and the environment as a whole at risk.
Palm oil is present in a lot of foods, so it can be difficult to avoid. You can help combat the careless palm oil industry by being a mindful consumer. Try the following tips for limiting your palm oil consumption:
- Choose products with clearly-labeled oils like 100% olive oil, coconut oil, or sunflower oil.
- If you’re unsure of a product’s ingredients, call the company and ask if they use palm oil.
Avoid products that:
- Are labeled as “vegetable oil,” as palm oil is often disguised under this name
- Contain more than 40% of saturated fat, as they almost always contain palm oil.
- Have ingredients with the word “palm” in them, as they come from the oil of palm fruit.
3) Limit Food Waste
Did you know that more than one-third of all food produced globally goes to waste? In landfills, food produces methane emissions that are harmful to the environment.
You can limit the food that goes to waste in the following ways:
- Shop realistically. Only buy what you need. It’s better to make multiple trips to the store a week, rather than buying bulk products you won’t use.
- Don’t over-serve food. When preparing a meal to serve, start with small servings. If you or the people you’re serving want more, then divvy out more portions
- Prioritize leftovers. It’s one thing to save leftovers. Actually eating them is a different story. It can be tempting to make a fresh, hot meal instead of eating your leftovers. Try to eat any leftovers you have first, as they are more prone to spoiling.
- Store food properly. Become familiar with the best places to store produce and other items. For example, bananas, tomatoes, and potatoes last longer in a cool, dry place. On the other hand, apples tend to stay fresher in the fridge.
4) Plant Your Own Garden
To eat more ethically, try planting a garden! It’ll help you avoid conventional and unethical methods of food production and consumption.
By planting a garden, you’ll:
- Reduce waste and carbon emissions. Importing foods from commercial farmers requires burning a lot of fossil fuels. By having your own garden, you’ll be reducing carbon emissions!
- Avoid harmful fertilizers and pesticides. If you have a garden, you’ll be inclined to avoid harmful fertilizers and pesticides. This lowers the pollution of soil and water, which positively contributes to the health of your environment.
Try implementing some of these ways to eat more ethically into your everyday life! Even changing what you eat for one meal or snack per day can make a big difference!
Fallon Chan is a food and lifestyle photographer and blogger.