Sustainability is one simple, yet strong term that is to be questioned upon when it comes to agriculture and how we eat. In agriculture, this word is used to term the production of food or other plant and animal products using farming techniques and practices that help to preserve natural resources with minimal impact made on the environment. Sustainable agriculture deals with producing healthful food without disrupting future generations’ ability to do the same.
Sustainable eating includes picking foods that are healthful to both, our body and our environment. It involves nourishing our body wholly and completely, providing pleasure but, at the same time preserving the food system for the future.
Why Take so much Pain for Sustainability?
We can benefit from multitudinous ways because of sustainable eating. Sustainable agriculture and eating are regenerative. They result in healthy, thriving individuals and communities, and better, more balanced ecosystems. Such practices ensure that:
Anyone can support sustainable farming by eating sustainably. The first step is to take note of your current eating habits, foods that you buy and the way in which you make a food decision. While this is only the beginning, there are many more things that can be done on your part to support good growing practices and smart food production.
Registered dietitian nutritionists recommend these tips to get started:
Purchase from local markets. Make it a rule to buy foods only from the local farmers market as these farmers are committed to their communities. Shopping at the local market is a pleasure as the farmers there are likely ‘neighbors.’ The money spent at the market stays in your community. RDNs mention the "local economic multiplier effect" — an often-referenced theory of the benefits a local economy receives when recirculating capital by sourcing locally. For instance, if every family in a state spent four hundred rupees a week at a farmers market, it would keep four crore rupees in the state, which may otherwise quickly move out of the state. Every rupee circulates three to seven times before moving out. The concept of farmers market, details of which can be fetched from www.firsteatright.com, is slowly becoming popular with people worldwide.
Grow your own garden. Grow anything from herbs in a pot to tomatoes on a patio or a small plot in your yard. There is nothing that can give you a better understanding of the food growing process that to grow on your own. By doing this, you get a clear picture of the numerous factors involved in making plants thrive, the effort needed to grow blooming plants and the complexity of the process involved. These will definitely affect the way in which you buy, use and dispose food.
Chat about food. Talk to anyone who pays attention to food, be it the farmers at your market, personnel at your grocery store and restauranteurs or other people who are as interested as you in discussing about the ways in which foods get on their plates. You may discover new tips, come across more local, sustainably-minded food producers and providers and learn about new resources.
Choose seasonal foods. Though October is not the season for mangoes, you can still buy it “fresh” during this month. This means that the product is coming from far, far away. So, try to eat foods that are available during every season where you live and you’ll be supporting sustainability.
Drink fresh water. It takes abundant fossil fuel to transport liquids, as these are some of the heaviest items to ship. Stay away from packaged waters and drinks as much as possible. By doing this, you save several natural resources that would otherwise be used for transportation and storage along with handling package waste.
Recheck grocery list. Go for bulk foods, more minimally processed foods and more plant-based foods. All these require less packaging and waste, less energy to produce certain foods and minimal artificial ingredients (those not found in nature) and chemicals in the food system.
Vote with your wallet and your fork. There is no better way than money in which you can affect the direction of our food system and what grocers, restauranteurs and food companies produce and sell. Request your food providers to support local farmers, local producers and sustainable agriculture. Show that you support them through your decision to buy food.
Health is not formed by the health care system nor does it happen by chance. It is what you cook and how you eat all through the year. Food is the connector in life and can elevate a person’s satisfaction levels in life. Knowing these principles, lend a supporting hand to sustainable agriculture and eat sustainably.
AVOID FRAUD. EAT SMART.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.