What is ‘Sustainable’?
In agriculture, sustainability pertains to the production of food or other plant or animal products using farming techniques that protect public health, communities, the environment, and the well-being of animals. Agricultural sustainability allows for the production of healthful food without jeopardizing future generations’ ability to do the same. The concept of ‘sustainable eating’ is choosing foods that are beneficial to our environment and our bodies.
Why should we strive toward sustainable eating?
Diana Dyer, MS, RD, and organic farmer says that "Sustainable agriculture and eating are regenerative. They lead to healthy, thriving individuals and communities, and better, more balanced ecosystems.” Dyer says that sustainable eating:
• Improves the economic health and liveliness of communities.
• Reduces the use of limited natural resources, like fossil fuels.
• Protects the environment from chemicals and practices that harm farmer and consumer health.
• Preserves the diversity of plants, animals and nutrients found in the soil.
• Encourages top nutrition through naturally nutrient-dense foods.
How to eat sustainably:
- Understand how you eat, and your eating patterns.
- Shop locally - Look for your local Farmer’s Market! Or check your grocery store for locally grown products.
- Grow something.
- Initiate food conversations with farmers, restaurateurs, or grocery store owners. Find out more about your food, where it comes from, and whether it is sustainable!
- Eat seasonally.
- Be mindful of what you are eating, where it comes from, and whether or not it is local.
Happy Fresh & Fit Friday!
By Susan Moores, MS, RD. Reviewed August 2013