Green Eating Guide

Eating green isn’t only about getting enough veggies (though that’s part of it). It’s also about eating sustainably”making choices that are healthier for you and better for the environment. Here are six tips for the aspiring ecovore: 
 
Home is best
– The greenest thing you can do is choose locally-grown foods. Join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) food share (in Ontario, see csafarms.ca) or shop at your local farmers’ market. If you don’t have access to a CSA or farmers’ market, check your grocery store”ask your grocer which fruits and vegetables are locally grown. Learn what is in season, and try to base your diet around those choices. 
 
Go chemical-free
– Choosing organic produce means fewer chemicals end up in our soil, water and bodies. While organic food tends to cost more than conventional food, it also presents a greater selection of heritage fruits and veggies not grown by conventional farmers. Small-scale local farmers often farm organically, but aren’t certified organic by the Canadian government. Get to know your local producers and ask about their growing practices. 
 
Be fair – Not everything we eat can be locally sourced, so choose fairly traded products for items like coffee, tea and chocolate. Fair trade promotes sustainable farming practices and reasonable pay and work conditions to producers. Fairly traded products are often more expensive than conventional products, but it’s worth the price for the quality and ethical production. 
 
Buy naked – When possible, pick unpackaged foods. Use reusable bags or boxes to carry your groceries home. Not only will this cut down on the amount of waste produced, but it will also keep you away from processed foods”those salt-, fat- and sugar-filled baddies of the grocery store. 
 
Moderate meat –
Most North Americans eat too much meat. Meat is hard on both our bodies and the environment, so indulge sparingly. The Canadian Food Guide recommends two half-cup servings of meat or fish per day. Choose meat raised on farms employing traditional farming practices and limit your consumption of red meat. 
 
Sustain the seas – Fish is a superfood that women should indulge in twice a week, but not all fishing practices are good for our bodies”or the earth’s bodies of water. SeaChoice, Canada’s sustainable seafood program, recommends choosing wild fish like pollack, sablefish and Pacific cod, or farmed Arctic char and Rainbow trout. Check their chart to see what to avoid and how to limit your exposure to mercury- and PCB-contaminated fish: http://www.seachoice.org/files/pdf/SEACHOICE_alertcard09.pdf

Tags: Diet, nutrition, organic

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