What is sustainable food ? And why does it matter?
First, sustainability is defined by the Environmental Protection Agency as, “the ability to maintain or improve standards of living without damaging or depleting natural resources for present and future generations.” You can take this definition and apply it to your understanding of sustainable food: Think about sustainable food as the growth, production, distribution and consumption of food products that keep the environment in mind. It’s important to remember that sustainability encompasses every aspect of the food system, not just buying organic produce or shopping at your farmers’ market.
Why is food sustainability important?
The Food and Agriculture Organization (or FAO, for short) reports that typical food production practices can contribute to air pollution, create non-potable water and cause land erosion, among so many other consequences contributing to our global climate crisis. According to the World Wildlife Fund, the sustainable management of agriculture is key to maintaining and revitalizing our environment. Not only is it important to focus on sustainable modes of food production, like regenerative agriculture, to benefit the land that’s being grown on, but if managed correctly, sustainable agriculture also benefits broader areas of land, as well as animals who live on the land and farm workers who manage the land. Long story short, adjusting your food shopping and dining habits to include sustainable food can help curb climate change.
How to incorporate sustainable food into your diet:
Purchase from local farmers who are implementing sustainable agriculture practices. If you have access, utilizing local farmers’ markets or CSAs and purchasing organic produce directly from the source not only ensures you have great food to cook with, but it also provides financial support to the farmers that are taking the steps to benefit the environment. To Find a local Farmers Markets click here : https://wafarmersmarkets.org/washingtonfarmersmarketdirectory/
And Finally, be conscious of the food you’re throwing away. According to the USDA, more than 130 billion pounds of food go to waste in the US annually, contributing to 8% of global emissions. The good news is that there are really easy ways to reduce your family’s food waste, like shopping in your fridge and pantry to create delicious pantry recipes out of the ingredients you already have on hand. It’s also a lot simpler to start composting at home — or turning your food scraps into organic material for your garden — than you may think.
Learn more about EvCC Sustainability! www.everettcc.edu/green
Mariya Zelenskyy – Media and Outreach Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org