If you're looking to make a change with the resources you have at hand, buying environmentally friendly food is a great way to do it. To help you get started, here are 11 tips that can encourage eco-friendly shopping habits, even if you can't shop locally. Researching where food comes from and who manufactures it is key to understanding the type of practices they use. Do they use pesticide-free pest control techniques? Was your meat grown on a farm that follows ethical livestock raising strategies? If you don't know the answers, you can learn with a little research.
Retailers and consumers often want their food products to look a certain way, but this desire for aesthetically pleasing foods has led to a lot of food waste. More specifically, two distinct phenomena: food loss and waste occur regularly in the food industry. Food loss occurs from the post-harvest stage to the retail level, as farmers discard products along the supply chain. According to the Food Loss Index (FLI), 14% of food is lost worldwide during harvesting and processing. When buying plant-based foods, it's also crucial to consider the cultivation techniques that producers use.
Rice is often grown with monocultures, which reduces soil fertility and may reduce the nutritional value of the resulting crop. Wheat, rice, soy and corn represent nearly 50% of the world's agricultural land. Bulk products are excellent alternatives to individualized packaging, which uses more plastic for their production. According to the EPA, more than 23% of the material found in landfills consists of containers and containers, whether or not they are related to food.
Tips for Eco-Friendly Grocery Shopping
- Research: Investigate where your food comes from and who manufactures it so you can understand their practices.
- Avoid Food Waste: Don't buy food just because it looks good - this contributes to food waste.
- Choose Plant-Based Foods Wisely: Consider cultivation techniques when buying plant-based foods.
- Buy in Bulk: Bulk products are better alternatives than individualized packaging.
- Make a Shopping List: Make a list based on meals you plan to cook during the week.
- Shop Locally: Visit your local farmer's market or grocery store on foot or by bike.
- Avoid Plastic Packaging: Look for alternatives that are packaged in reusable containers.
Remember that you don't have to do all or even half of them on the first try. Small acts add up and the use of a single new purchasing method contributes to global efforts to protect the environment. At 4ocean, we do our part to combat the plastic crisis in the oceans by removing one pound of garbage from the ocean and the coast for every product purchased. Each year, Americans use approximately 100 billion single-use plastic bags, which are difficult to recycle and often reach waterways after being discarded, where they are consumed by wildlife and send more microplastics to the food chain.