Sustainable Eating – Mindful Choosing
In an effort to fully address the important topic of sustainability, I would be remiss if I did not examine our food industry. In our blog titled Consider the Source, the overarching intention was to encourage others to choose domestically manufactured clothing in support of our American economy and to advocate safe conditions for our domestic workers. Along the same lines, I have become increasingly aware of issues in our food industry. These specific concerns are related to factory farming and the inhumane conditions for both the workers and the livestock.
Recently, I watched the documentary Food, Inc., which revealed some shocking truths about what we eat and how our food is produced. The lack of food safety standards was eye-opening. Learning the truth behind factory farming, the living conditions of the animals and what they must endure producing “bigger, cheaper, faster” animal products was shocking. This information was the catalyst for my decision to commit to a plant-based diet and eliminate all animal products. Although my decision resulted from a personal journey towards sustainability, I firmly believe our mindful choices with our food sources are important considerations to maintain. In a future blog, I will highlight the “10 easy steps towards sustainability” to address this topic further.
Beyond what we choose to consume, there are other practices we can integrate into our daily routine that will bring us closer to sustainability. A simple place to start is choosing to recycle materials that can be reused- such as plastic and paper products. Another action step I have recently taken is composting; collecting food waste instead of sending it to the landfill with our trash. Recently, the USDA reported that in the United States alone, food waste was estimated between 30-40 percent of what is in our landfills. According to the EPA composting food waste helps to improve soil, grow the next generation of crops, and improve water quality.
Mindfulness about our natural resources and what footprint we leave behind for our future generations are just cause for sustainable living. The value of a congruent lifestyle cannot be underestimated. What we choose to put in our bodies and on our bodies are small choices that we can make every single day that will have a significant effect on the world we live in.