eat locally

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Editor’s Note: Each Wednesday My Green Side brings Simple Tips for Green Living to The Christopher Gabriel Program. We also highlight a favorite green site each week. You can stream the segment at approximately 1220pm (central) every Wednesday at WDAY.com or, if you’re in North Dakota or western Minnesota, listen on your radio at AM970 WDAY.

GREEN TIP: Choose to eat sustainably. It’s better for you, your family and the environment.

We’ve talked many times about  avoiding genetically modified foods and the problems with our industrialized and unsustainable food system.

A few problems with unsustainable food: it relies on foreign oil, it denatures the soil and it contaminates and overuses water. Choosing not to support the industrial food system is the beginning of sustainable eating.

Growing Concerns:

  • Animal products are being raised for profit only, without regard for proper stewardship or health.
  • We are monocropping, and the government is subsidizing it.
  • Food is transported and processed using large amounts of non-renewable resources.
  • Food is being genetically modified, cloned, and patented.

Sustainable foods are:

  • Real, whole (organic) foods that our bodies were designed to eat and digest.
  • Healthy for us, the soil and the animals.
  • Do not harm the environment.
  • Are humane for both the workers and the animals.
  • Provide a fair wage to the farmer without the use of government subsidies.
  • Support the local economy instead of large corporations.

Sustainable food is what people ate for thousands of years, up until 20th century.

Here are some simple steps to becoming a more mindful eater.

1. Learn to Cook.

Learning to cook is fun and easy. It’s also healthier and less expensive then eating out.

2. Eat Locally.

Whenever possible support your local economy by sourcing out local ingredients. Check out the Eat Well Guide, it’s a database to help you locate local, sustainable food.

When eating out, select restaurants that also source out local ingredients. In Fargo, check out the Green Market Kitchen and the HoDo Lounge or Restaurant.

3. Eat Seasonally.

This goes hand-in-hand with eating locally. Eat root vegetables and hearty greens in the fall and winter. Eat salads, fruit, and tomatoes in the summer. Even milk and eggs are more abundant during certain times of the year.

4. Preserve the Harvest.

If you eat locally or seasonally then you’ll have to learn to preserve the harvest. Try canning, dehydrating, freezing, and lacto-fermentation.

5. Grow Something… Anything.

Start with herbs or lettuce. Radishes are really fast and fairly simple. Even if you’re renting you can create a container garden. Once you catch the gardening bug you will just want to grow more.

6. Give Up Store Bought Convenience Foods and Make Your Own.

You can make your own taco seasoning, yogurt, chicken stock, pesto, granola, tomato sauce… the list goes on and on. If you buy it from the store, do a quick recipe search and try making it at home.

7. Buy Fair-Trade.

When you don’t know your farmer because you’re buying from a foreign country look for the words “Fair-Trade.” TransFair USA ensures that farmers are treated justly and paid fairly for their work.

Eating mindfully may take a bit more effort, but the rewards – for your family and their future – are too big to pass up.

Source: Simple Bites

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

Loving Nature’s Garden
Loving Nature’s Garden
is full of fabulous advice about gardening. You will find weekly tips and gardening inspiration. Also articles on how to:

  • Grow your own food – indoors and outdoors.
  • Invite nature into your garden.
  • Use simple, organic gardening methods.
  • Enjoy and benefit from your garden.
  • Choose earth-friendly and people-friendly tools, books, and accessories for your garden.

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