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Practical Ways to Love Your Food and Love the Earth

Here are some tips for reducing the environmental impact of your food choices.

Your food choices can have a tremendous impact on greenhouse gas emissions and the continued use of chemical pesticides.

  • Reduce your carbon footprint by cutting back on animal products in your diet, especially red meat and dairy.
  • Choose seasonal produce when possible. It is more likely to have been grown close to home and harvested recently, thereby using minimal energy for transportation and storage.
  • Learn what you can about how your food was produced, wherever it is from, so that you can choose to support sustainable farming practices. Speaking to the farmers directly is a wonderful way to learn about their production methods. When you cannot meet the farmer, go through a trusted intermediary, such as Boston Organics, or a grocery store (such as Whole Foods) that discloses supplier information and supports eco-friendly food production.
  • Overwhelmed by choice and short on time? In the absence of all other information, it is usually best to opt for organic.

Don’t discount the impact of minimizing your own food waste through the “three R’s”—reduce, reuse, recycle.

  • Planning menus and making shopping lists helps cut back on impulse purchases that may rot before they are eaten. Reduce waste further by finding another use for those coffee grounds or squash seeds, .
  • As you finish off a pint of cherry tomatoes or a pound of strawberries, hold on to the lightweight, PETE (#1 plastic) container they came in. Reuse them at the farmer’s market this summer, thereby minimizing both packaging waste and damage to your delicate produce.
  • Although it is not, strictly speaking, recycling, you can convert trash into “black gold” by composting your kitchen scraps, whether in an EarthBox in the backyard or a small worm farm by your sink.

For more on loving your food and loving the earth, see the Bounty Hunter's full column for today.

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