The energy costs of supplying food don’t just start and end in the kitchen. The production of food – from the farm right up to the table – requires energy. In fact, the food industry accounts for a large chunk of the carbon footprint of the United States. This includes carbon emissions from the production of foods, transportation and distribution, energy costs for refrigeration and other storage requirements, and waste management. Believe it or not, you can help! Consider lobbying your school to get organic food for your next prom or dance.
Get food options that don't damage the planet. Opt for organic and, if possible, local produce. You’d be shocked by how much oil is used to grow and transport industrial foods.
Need help convincing your school administration and/or prom committee? Here are a few reasons why:
- Organic farming helps our environment by increasing soil fertility, encouraging natural organisms to flourish, and allowing plants and animals to boost their natural resistance to disease instead of relying on antibiotics or fungicides.
- Scientists now know what we consumers have known all along: organic food tastes better. It makes sense that strawberries taste yummier when raised in harmony with nature, but researchers at Washington State University just proved in taste tests when the organic berries were consistently judged as sweeter.
Most produce in the US is picked 4 to 7 days before being placed on supermarket shelves, and is shipped for an average of 1500 miles before being sold. And this is when taking into account only US grown products! Those distances are substantially longer when we take into consideration produce imported from Mexico, Asia, Canada, South America, and other places.
- <a data-cke-saved-href="<a href= " href="<a href= " http:="" www.dosomething.org="" tipsandtools="" why-buy-locally-grown"="">A recent study showed that fresh produce loses nutrients quickly. In a week-long (or more) delay from harvest to dinner table, sugars turn to starches, plant cells shrink, and produce loses its vitality. Food grown in your own community was probably picked within the past day or two. It is crisp, sweet and loaded with flavor.
Help keep those fumes out of the environment by buying locally grown food and/or organic whenever possible. By doing so, you'll be helping preserve the environment, and you'll be strengthening your community by investing your food dollar close to home.
To find wholesome, fresh, sustainable food in your area, check out EatWellGuide.com. Just type in your zip code and you'll get a list of vendors and markets that provide organic and locally grown food! Yes, it really is that easy!