Food production is a major culprit in the consumption of natural resources. According to the United Nations Environment Program, if current consumption and production patterns remain the same, by 2050 we will need three planets to sustain our wasteful lifestyle. That’s why it’s so important that we take steps to minimize these patterns. Here are a few ways to consume food more responsibly:
Did you know that in North America, 40% of edible food is wasted? In order to cut down on how much you throw out, plan your meals in advance and shop accordingly. Before heading to the grocery store, take an inventory of what is in your fridge and freezer to avoid buying too much food, and make sure to buy only what you need and will actually use. Repurpose your leftovers and food scraps and freeze or preserve excess food before it goes bad. If you have non-perishable food that you no longer want, donate it to the food bank whenever possible, and compost produce that’s no longer edible.
Buy Organic (When You Can)
More than just avoiding toxins, there are other benefits to buying organic food. Organic agriculture is inherently low-input, using fewer natural resources and protecting biodiversity during production. If you’re able to find food that is locally sourced, that’s even better, since local foods have less of an environmental impact.
Choose Foods With Less Packaging (Or Bring Your Own)
Buy in bulk whenever possible, and bring your own reusable bag or container. If your grocery store offers it, buy milk in a glass bottle from a company that will reuse it.
Grow Your Own
Whether on a patio, window box, in your kitchen, in your backyard, or in a community garden; every little bit counts. From herbs to veggies, whatever food you are able to grow yourself will have a positive impact on the environment.