Over the past few years the way I look at food has changed. Not only are the choices I make more healthy (most of the time) but I also think about what I put on my plate at home, what I order in restaurants, and the implications of these choices.
Why should you eat ethically and sustainably?
There are many great reasons to eat organic, ethical and sustainable food. Not only is the focus on higher animal welfare but also food safety and quality. Eating ethically and sustainably means you are protecting the environment, but also ensures that nations have adequate food supply as well as looking to the future; making sure that food production can last for years to come.
Below are 10 easy changes to start eating more ethically and sustainably
1. If you are a drinking of milk, make the swap from normal cow’s milk to organic cow’s milk.
By law these cows are free range and graze on pastures that are covered in fewer pesticides & no artificial fertilisers. Organic farming is also better for the cows, they are generally not pushed to their milk producing limits and give around a third less milk than those in intensive milk production. Or if you want to cut out milk completely try a dairy free alternative, such as Nut or Soy Milk.
2. Buy free range eggs, or – even better – organic!
Currently of the 12 billion eggs that we consume in the UK only 2% are organic. 47% of us are eating free-range and that means under half of us are eating eggs from hens that are able to roam outside. Buying organic eggs means that the chickens are also fed organic feed and aren’t given antibiotics.
3. Cut down on your meat intake by eating less, but better, meat such as organic, grass-fed or reared outdoors.
Animals that are raised sustainably get to live happy and free lives where they are able to roam outside, for at least part of the day. When buying meat, eggs or dairy that is produced in this way it will be labelled Free Range.
4. Sign up for an organic veg box.
How easy, a big box of organic fresh vegetables delivered straight to your door. There are nationwide organic veg box sellers but it’s worth seeing if there is a local supplier near to you. Alternatively, why not try out your local farmer’s market a try?
5. Visit your local fishmonger or butcher to pick up some meat or fish.
Again, shopping local helps boost your local economy plus you can try out cuts that you might not find at your local supermarket!
6. Swap out-of-season veg for something seasonal.
Seasonal veg might not only save you a few pennies but it will more than likely taste better too.
7. Instead of a processed meal, make a large amount of a homemade meal and freeze for a quick meal that is healthier.
A veggie chilli? What about a classic Bolognese? Making a larger batch means meals are at the ready. Not only will it be healthier, with less preservatives and additives, but it will also be friendlier on your pocket.
8. Don’t empty your cupboards straight away.
Throwing away everything is a waste. Give your kitchen a gradual make-over by slowly upgrading to organic and sustainable products as you go.
9. Surplus vegetables or fruit? Give preserving a try.
Stuck with a glut of courgettes? Homegrown, bought or foraged fruit and veg all taste great when you’ve preserved them. Homemade preserves will also taste way better and be full of fewer additives than those you can pick up in a supermarket plus they can make fantastic gifts!
10. Opt for a Fairtrade certified product – this ensures that producers receive a fair deal.
As they say on their website, ‘Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers’. I think we can all agree that this is something worth our money.
By making some of these changes you can start some good habits, helping you to eat more sustainably, ethically and, hopefully, a little more healthily too!
A few sources: