According to an article in Science Daily, ?an estimated 19 percent of total energy used in the United States is taken up in the production and supply of food.? In the US alone, food consumption is projected to increase by as much as 20 percent by the year 2020. Here are some nourishing tips that will support your part in creating a greener, cleaner environment for future generations.
According to the USDA a food is considered local if the distance that it was grown or produced is within 400 miles of your home. By choosing foods locally grown you choose to support a sustainable, dynamic food system where farmers benefit by receiving a fair price for their goods, local communities thrive and consumers are provided with healthy food and a better future.
Understand How Food is Packaged, Shipped and Prepared
Food travels an average of 1500 miles from ground to table. The current systems of food transport are not supportive of the environment. The U.S. food system uses a great amount of energy and 20 percent of this energy goes towards food production, while 80 percent is used for processing, transport, refrigeration and preparation.
Excessive packaging of goods is currently putting a strain on the environment because so much trash is ending up in landfills. Trees are being cut, factories are consuming power, and toxic dyes are used to create eye catching advertising. If everyone decided to prepare, cook and eat at home more often, the abundant fossil fuel use would decrease dramatically.
Support Clean Air
Shipping our food long distances and processing it contributes to air and water pollution. Importing foods by air burns an excessive amount of fuel. Air freight generates 10 to 30 times as much carbon emissions per mile as trucking.
Shop Farmers Markets
Farmers travel no more than a 50 mile radius to and from their farmers market. The amount of food they carry and sell is approximately 5 times more energy efficient than foods which were hauled to your local grocery store. Choose foods from your local market or those that arrived from a local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA).