We just celebrated Earth Day this past Sunday and hopefully you were aware of it’s coming and took some steps to help support our mother Earth that day and plan to continue to do so in the future As I was reading something recently related to the Earth Day events taking place globally two food-related topics came to mind that I thought appropriate to pass along to our customers since we are of course an environmentally responsible food retailer.
One topic relates to the sustainable benefits that can be derived from eating more organically grown or produced foods. In order to conserve precious resources and reverse the negative effects of greenhouse gasses, we should think about supporting foods that do a better job of reducing their carbon footprint as they are grown, picked and packaged. Some of the biggest energy hogs in agriculture are avoided when we make a conscious effort to select foods grown using organic farming. Unlike conventional farming methods, organic farming prohibits the use of energy-intensive chemical pesticides and fossil-fuel-based fertilizers. In fact, organic farming uses 45 percent less energy and creates 40 percent fewer greenhouse-gas emissions than conventional framing, according to data from the Rodale Institute’s 30-year farming-system trials.
The other area that most all of us can do a better job with is food waste. We are a country of excesses and somehow, we have convinced ourselves that the only good meal is one where so much food is available that we feel challenged to take it all in even though we know it will leave us feeling stuffed and overfilled. We are a nation where adult obesity rates now exceed 35 percent in five states and top 30 percent in 25 states. We need to eat less and exercise more. So why would the owner of a food store be telling customers to eat less? Simply stated it’s good for all of us and it will keep you healthier and let you live longer. Of course, it’s not just a matter of quantity, it’s really more about quality. Concentrating more on fresh, vitamin-rich foods and steering clear of heavily process foods, sugar-laden drinks and sweet treats.
There is, however, another benefit to eating less, it means less food waste. In the US, Food waste has reached staggering proportions, with 1,400 calories of food wasted per person per day. When you compare that to the fact that in all of Asia and Africa the daily consumption of food is under 2,800 calories, you realize that we throw away over half what they get to eat. All of this waste takes a tremendous amount of oil to grow, 185 million barrels every year. That’s 46 times the amount that gushed out of the Deepwater Horizon during the 2010 oil spill. If we all paid a bit more attention to the amount of food we prepare or that we order when eating out, we would dramatically reduce the waste of food and at the same time reduce the waistline of our clothes.
Thanks for thinking about healthier eating.