Just like everything else, achieving a sustainable way of eating requires consideration of social, economic and environmental factors.
From a social perspective, it is important to make sure that the food we eat is sourced and grown ethically. That means that food should be fair trade, local, and organic whenever possible. Items like tea, chocolate, and coffee should always be bought from fair trade companies because this means the workers involved are paid a reasonable, sustainable wage. If food is sourced locally it does not have to travel as far, polluting the air and water, and the people who work in the food industry near you are kept in business. Foods should be grown organically without toxins that run into the soils and waterways polluting the water and the land around them, harming the individual who live nearby.
From an economic perspective, it is important to source your food locally because you are keeping local places in business.
The biggest environmental impacts from food come from particular types of foods. Meats, particularly red meats, have high carbon footprints and it takes up lots of land to raise cattle for consumption or for milk production. Poultry and seafood have slightly less carbon footprints than red meat, but the way that we currently produce and source them is unsustainable. Minimizing meat consumption, and the consumption of animal products greatly reduces your carbon footprint and makes your lifestyle much more sustainable. Transportation of goods and highly processed foods are other parts of the unsustainable industrial food system. Both produce pollution and waste. Food waste and packaging are other environmental costs to the industrial food system.
To reduce your impacts when eating out, consider picking restaurants that source locally, have vegetarian and vegan options, serve reasonable portions, recycle, and minimize food waste.
Enjoy eating responsibly!
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