Holiday meals are all too often loaded with foods that are not sustainable. A variety of convenience foods are available, to suit the holiday needs of most people. A typical holiday meal may include one or many of the following culprits such as factory farmed turkey or other meats, canned foods, shelf stable processed foods, items containing GMO, or foods served on or with disposables.
Sustainably raised food looks more appetizing, is tastier and more nutritious. This type of meal requires a bit of planning and effort, however the rewards are clear. Bringing sustainable food to the table supports a healthier planet.
How to create a sustainable meal
1. Choose pastured meats and dairy
Pastured animals are allowed to graze, and their products contain beneficial fats.
Find meat free of antibiotics, hormones, and fed without GMOs: Fran's Fryers
2. Provide at least one vegetarian main dish
See vegetarian recipes:
Seasonal Squash: 5 Unique Recipes
Fall Cookbook: Spanish Rice- good stuffing replacement
3. Avoid canned foods, choose fresh food in whole form
Cans are commonly lined with BPA, which is known to leech into food.
Read more about BPA: Bisphenol A: Toxic Plastics Chemical in Canned Food.
4. Choose locally grown produce
This late in the year, there are a few farmers markets still going on in the area:
Cowtown Farmers Market- Saturdays year round (spring-early fall open wed as well)
Downtown Arlington Farmers Market- Fri and Sat
Grand Prarie Farmers Market - Sat through Dec 18
Beach Street Local Market-3rd sunday of each month through December
5. Prioritize produce purchased at the grocery store
Avoid EWG's“Dirty Dozen” and prioritize organic produce
6. Avoid foods that may potentially contain GMO
Choose organically grown for anything corn, soy, canola (rapeseed), or cotton (common edible part-cottonseed oil.)
Read more about GMO foods
7. Avoid disposables
Use dishes, utensils, and napkins that can be washed and reused.
8. Pollute less
Ride a bike, walk, or carpool whenever possible to meal gatherings
9. Share all the recipes, including where the foods were found