Healthy Habits

The Cycle of Sustainable Nutrition – Purchasing, Preparing, Repurposing

Content Provided by the GBS Health & Wellness Team

What does it mean to eat sustainably and why is it important?

Sustainable eating is about selecting foods that are good for you and the environment. There are many ways to enjoy the benefits of sustainable eating, including buying locally, growing produce, eating more plant-based foods such as fruits and vegetables, and consuming less animal-based foods such as red meat.

Shop Locally

Explore farmers markets and community supported agriculture to find fresh foods that are full of nutrients. Shopping locally is a fun way to support the community and can reduce the cost of fuel needed to ship food to the grocery store.

Start an Herb Garden

Start an indoor herb garden and begin by selecting two or three different herbs to grow. Herbs are generally easy to grow and do not take a lot of space.

Eat Seasonally

Avoid purchasing fresh foods that are out of season. Instead, consider consuming canned, dried, or frozen options in the off season. When compared to produce that is grown in heated greenhouses or shipped from far away, frozen or lightly preserved foods are the most sustainable options during the off season.

Consume Nutritious Foods

Eat more fruits and vegetables. Not only are these healthier options, they are also better for the planet as they reduce water and land use, greenhouse gas emissions, and pollution to the soil.

Choose Organic

Organic farming can be less detrimental to the environment as fewer chemicals are used to produce organic fruits and vegetables.

Buy in Bulk

Buying in bulk can save money and reduce packaging. Look for bulk products versus individual packs to help reduce waste.

Avoid Highly Processed Foods

Choose products with minimal ingredients. If there is a long list of ingredients in a product, there are likely many steps that go into manufacturing. This can leave a greater carbon footprint due to manufacturing, shipping, and distributing product.

Reduce Food Packaging

Extra packaging can fill up landfills. Choose foods that contain natural packaging.

Limit Number of Trips to the Grocery Store

Plan meals ahead of time to limit the numbers of trips to the grocery store.

Avoid Overeating

Eat just the right amount of food to fuel the body and get more mileage out of weekly groceries.

Minimize Meat Consumption

Revisit meatless Mondays or reduce meat consumption on any given day. Eating less animal-based foods, especially red and processed meat, will greatly reduce environmental impact. Compared to produce and grains, red meat is the biggest contributor to the carbon footprint.

Waste Less Food

According to the USDA, 30 to 40 percent of the total food supply is wasted. Rather than tossing out food scraps, compost or repurpose leftovers for a new meal.

Focus on reducing food loss and waste and eat more fresh, local, and organic foods for a healthier environment and life.

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