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These days it seems as if "sustainable" is everywhere. The word jumps out from magazine covers and front pages. It is rampant on television and the internet. But what does "sustainable" mean?
The Iroquois are credited with the concept of "Seventh Generation sustainability." The basic idea is that in making decisions we should be mindful of the impact on the next seven generations. A straightforward thought reminiscent of Ghandi’s famous t-shirt slogan: "Live simply so that others may simply live."
Basically, in regards to our diet, sustainable is the concept of "from the farm to the table." It is the decision to eat locally grown, seasonal food that doesn’t adversely affect the environment with pesticides or the use of fuel it takes to get strawberries in the dead of winter. Buying locally grown produce or meat is not only better for you and the environment, it is tremendously beneficial to the local economy.
5 Easy Ways to Eat Responsibly
1. Buy seasonal, locally grown products. Make the farmers’ market a regular stop for your grocery shopping. Plan meals based on seasonal produce, and throw a “sustainable supper” to introduce your friends to local bounty.
2. Eat organic. Organic foods are produced without the use of herbicides, pesticides, chemical fertilizers, or genetically modified organisms (GMO’s). It’s better for you and better for the environment. Enough said.
3. Eat less meat. It takes a lot more natural resources to produce meat than produce. Not to mention the frightening amount of chemicals and hormones that is pumped into meat. Just try dropping meat from one meal a week. With all of the fabulous local produce you’re eating, you won’t miss it.
4. Support restaurants that promote locally grown foods. Alice Waters may have started the fight, but many chefs have picked up the banner. Chefs such as John Besh, Donald Link, Dave Pasternack, and Jerry Traunfeld can tell you exactly where the food on their menus came from. To find restaurants near you, visit chefscollaborative.org, which offers state-by-state listings.
5. Grow your own. You can’t beat your own backyard for fresh and locally grown!