Sourcing Sustainable and Organic Foods
These days a lot of us are getting more focused on trying to figure out the best ways we can enjoy our lives while still supporting an environmentally healthy planet. It is a tough line to walk given western culture has had a tendency to entirely ignore this aspect of reality for generations. We can do it though. There are plenty of ways that anyone can make strides towards helping reduce their impact on the world while not giving up many of the things they enjoy. A good way of doing this is trying to shift your diet towards focusing on sustainable foods. Organic foods are another popular option that can be similarly good when you take the time to do the work necessary to get them. It is a lot harder than simply looking for an “organic” label. Sustainable and organic foods offer a window into a world where we don’t need to worry as much where our foods comes from as it will have come from nearby and still be fresh. Let’s look into how you can start moving into that world while still enjoying your normal diet.
Defining Sustainable and Organic
Sustainable foods are food that have been produced in such a way that they do not cause undue strain on the environment. That generally translates to crops that grow in a given climate and environment with minimal workarounds necessary to keep them healthy. It also tends to focus on producing enough food to meet a particular need rather than producing food simply for the sake of producing food. Any restaurant or hotel that you’ve seen with its own gardens for vegetables is technically taking part is a small scale form of sustainable food by not going out and buying those ingredients. Organic foods are a bit harder to pin down as, well, all food is organic by definition. People typically mean foods that haven’t been produced with pesticides that have been grown by the idealized archetype of a rural farmer. Unfortunately, organic is often little more than a buzzword these days as all the food labeled organic in stores is typically from factory farms that in turn use pesticides to protect their crops. The pesticides are just organic. They end up using more of such pesticides as they are less effective and hurting the environment more. This doesn’t mean organic foods are inherently bad, but the system to getting them to people has some issues.
Sourcing Sustainable Foods
This is actually an easier task than you might think. Finding sustainable food involves simply seeing where the particular foods have come from to determine the distance they’ve traveled. Sustainable foods are ones that have been grown/raised at the very least in the country you’re currently in. Ideally the foods will have been raised in the same state and potentially county if you want to have the most sustainable options. Figuring all of this out does require doing a little research though. Specifically, you’re going to want to try to find any local farmer’s markets that bring in fresh foods from the surrounding areas. These are the best options many urbanites are going to get when it comes to ensuring access to sustainable foods. It is a little more difficult when it comes to more exotic foods that can’t be grown in your area. Fair Trade certification on such foods is typically the best marker you can get that the foods are as sustainable as they can be given the distances involved.
Finding trustworthy organic food isn’t honestly that difficult, but it does require you getting your hands dirty as you’ll need to grow it yourself. As we highlighted earlier, the labeling “organic” we see so commonly on products these days has a few issues. It is seldom as good for the environment as people expect it to be and, more often than not, the foods are coming from distant factory farms that produce the foods to what the standards for “organic” are for that particular food. This ends up making the foods drastically less sustainable due to the travel times involved in them reaching most of us. It isn’t the best news for any of us who spent a lot of time specifically hunting for organic food in the the markets to be kinder to the environment, but it is always best to accept a hard truth and move forward rather than denying it. Growing your own food can be difficult, but rewarding as you’ll know exactly where your food came from and what went into raising it. The best part of that is that you’ll know it is both sustainable and organic.
Sustainable, organic foods are something that we, as a society, are gradually moving towards. They provide for our health while also providing for the future of our planet by being a more responsible approach than many current methods. Finding sustainable food sources can also be a big step on ensuring you’re eating a little healthier and in accordance with what is actually available. Try not to get distracted by the label “organic” when you see it on a food though. Production of such foods can often be more detrimental to the environment and the only way to be truly sure it was grown without any pesticides at all is to grow it yourself. Regardless of how you approach this, you can at least be sure that finding sustainable, organic foods will ensure you a good meal.