It is easy to derive pleasure from a delicious meal; however, it is also easy to forget about the environmental consequences of our food choices. Commercial agriculture, for example, contributes to air and water pollution, as well as habitat degradation. Furthermore, the use of pesticides and antibiotics in large-scale farming operations produces diseases and pests that are hard to control.
Considering that everyone eats, smart food choices can go a long way towards helping the environment. Here are some ways to put together environmentally-friendly meals.
Buy Local Groceries
It takes less fuel to transport locally grown or produced fruits, vegetables, meats, eggs, and dairy products than it does to transport foods over long distances. As such, less pollution is produced and less fuel is used to transport local food products. The 100 Mile Diet and City Farmer websites guide users to local food sources.
Make Smart Fish Choices
Fish populations and the health of aquatic ecosystems are at risk from overfishing, bycatch (organisms that are inadvertently killed as a result of fishing practices), and the wastes produced by fish farms. Vancouver B.C. has an Ocean Wise Program that helps locals choose sustainable fish options. The Program was launched in 2005 by the Vancouver Aquarium to work with restaurants and markets to help them buy ocean-friendly fish. The program is also intended to help consumers purchase sustainably-harvested fish and to avoid fish on the endangered list. Look for a similar program in your area, or start one.
Try Going Meatless
Beef, pork, and poultry production uses more resources and causes more pollution than other types of agriculture. As such, an occasional vegetarian meal helps the environment. Vegetarian alternatives include veggie hot dogs, veggie burgers, beans, and tofu, among others. Most vegetarian foods are tasty and nutritious. When using meat, it is best to purchase products that are organically grown, raised without antibiotics, locally-produced and freerange.
Kreg Weiss is a co-founder of My Yoga Online and certified Hatha Yoga Teacher. Several years ago, Kreg discovered yoga while teaching health and fitness. Yoga dramatically transformed Kreg's approach to teaching health and wellness as well as changed his personal life bringing new direction in finding physical, mental, and spiritual growth.