Celebrating Earth Day -- Every Day
What to Make for Dinner
By Lisa Bell
Average User Rating:
The amount of diesel or gasoline it takes to ship or fly crops around the world has a huge impact on our atmosphere. It’s been estimated that the non-local food in our markets travel, on average, 1,500 miles. Choose local foods, whenever possible.
Here’s a few ways to shop smarter:
Check out your local farmer’s market—beyond supporting local (often sustainable) agriculture, you’ll get a feel for the foods available by season.
- When you really need fruits or vegetables out of season, opt for frozen over imported fresh.
- Choosing foods based on the current season is the easiest way to eat local. Get familiar with the produce section of your grocery store, and make seasonal adjustments to your favorite recipes. For example, if your stir-fry recipe calls for asparagus or snap peas, and it’s the dead of winter, try broccoli instead.
- Try to buy at least some organic produce—you’ll not only reduce your own exposure to pesticides, but you won’t be adding to the pesticides that find their way into our water system. Crops high in pesticide residue include apples, peaches, spinach, bell peppers, grapes, cherries, strawberries and green beans.
- One-pot meals use less energy than meals made using multiple stove-top burners in addition to the oven. Incorporate casseroles, main-dish salads and stews into your weeknight cooking—it’ll save on clean-up, too!
- Simply serving correct portions (four ounces of chicken or fish, three for beef) will do wonders for both your health and the planet. It takes a large amount of resources (both grain and water) to make one pound of meat. You’ll end up with a plate balanced with vegetables, grains and meat, rather than one that’s meat-heavy.