Have you ever thought of how far your food travels to get to your plate?
Living in Canada, the window for growing fruits and vegetables is relatively short, so we largely depend on imported foods. On average, food travels 2,500km to get to us. This has a significant impact – not only on its nutritional quality, but on the environment as well.
So why does this matter?
1. For foods to travel these distances, they are picked well before they are ripe, and pumped with preservatives to keep them from spoiling and chemical gasses to ripen them once transported. This compromises both nutrients and taste, and some of these foods have also been genetically modified (making them lab food in my opinion).
2. The amount of fossil fuels required to truck or air transport foods is immensely damaging to the environment. Not to mention costly for you the consumer.
So whats the fix?
Here are a few things I’ve done to ensure that I’m consuming less chemically engineered foods and reduce my footprint on the planet.
• Plant your own – my space is limited, but I use pots to plant tomatoes, peppers and herbs during the summer.
• Eat in season – eating what’s in season means that your food has likely been grown locally and therefore travelled less.
• Buy organic and non-GMO – check out the 2020 list of the “dirty dozen and clean fifteen” released by the EWG-Environment Working Group for how best to spend your grocery dollars at www.thepacker.com/article/2020-dirty-dozen-and-clean-15-lists-released
• Buy from local farmers markets – most have lots of variety, and it’s a great way to support your local community.
• Support farm-to-fork restaurants – when eating out, look for establishments that support local farmers and, therefore, the local economy.