Just what does it mean to eat an environmentally sound diet? Is it possible to eat only green products all the time? When did all this get so confusing? Why does it seem harder and harder to keep eating habits earth friendly? What is the best approach to eating green? What are some tips for environmentally friendly eating?
Eat close to nature.
What does it mean to eat close to nature? If you're trying to be environmentally friendly, it's important to know. Eating close to nature means eating food that has not been manipulated by humans. Humans tend to screw things up a bit when it comes to food production. They use practices and ingredients which are not considered green by any stretch of the imagination. Think of a fresh apple off the tree as compared to canned applesauce. What has been added to the apple? How was it processed? How much fuel was used to get it to the factory?
Shirk transportation costs.
Eating locally grown and produced food is a safe bet when it comes to eating green. This means you have to know where your food comes from. Be careful about farmers markets. Not all the produce there is produced locally. Not all the food there is organic, either Always ask where your food comes from. It's the only way to know you're eating green.
Grow your own.
Gardening is a great way to control what goes into your food. Farms that mass produce fruits and vegetables rely on chemical pesticides and fertilizers for high yield crops. Needless to say those chemical additives are less than environmentally friendly. Not only that, they seep into your food through the root system. You can't wash that off. So, producing your own organic fruits and vegetables is both greener and healthier than buying them.
Fast food is never green.
No matter how you slice it, fast food is never green. There are fast food venues who try to be green most of the time. Unfortunately, the law of supply and demand hinders them from going all the way green. There are fast food restaurants that serve salad as well. Unfortunately, in order to cut costs, that salad isn't always organic. If you really want to go green with your diet, it's best to stay away from fast food altogether.
Eating green becomes more difficult every day.
Distributors, manufacturers and even farmers must do what they can to compete in an ever growing market. Most of the time, this involves cutting costs. Green food, as a general rule is not cheap food. It's hard to produce mass quantities of food without the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers. It's a challenge to stay solvent by marketing to an exclusively local clientele. As consumers we can help by supporting small, local, organic farms and growing our own produce when possible.
Portions of this article were previously published by this author on a now closed Yahoo property.