REDUCE WASTE by using reusable shopping bags, boxes, or even a laundry basket when you shop. Look for foods with the least amount of packaging, and try to avoid single-use plastic. Purchasing more fresh produce, whole foods, and bulk pantry items can be a big help with this effort.
You’ve probably heard of MEAL PLANNING and are loathe to spend precious weekend time doing it, but try it. You might like it! A few minutes spent perusing past copies of Edible San Diego and your favorite cookbooks can give you some fun, new ideas.
BE GENTLE ON YOURSELF, kids, and family. We can try our best most of the time, but we can’t do it all, all the time. Try to set simple goals that make processed foods or sweets increasingly rare treats rather than staples.
CONSIDER FOOD MILES, which have a huge impact on our climate. Does your grocery store carry and indicate local products? Is it feasible to buy directly from a local farmer or food artisan, even just for some things?
It sounds basic, but A SHOPPING LIST can help us both stay within our food budget and reduce waste by buying only what we really need or realistically can cook with or eat in the coming week.
SPEAK UP! When you shop and eat out, ask about whether they source locally and what they’re doing to reduce food miles, single-use plastic, food waste, and chemical additives.
CHOOSE ORGANIC WHEN YOU CAN and use the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen™ and Clean Fifteen™ lists to help guide wallet-friendly priorities.
We love The Natural Kitchen: Your Guide to the Sustainable Food Revolution by Deborah Eden Tull (Process Media, 2010).
Buying locally grown produce reduces the food’s carbon footprint.
It’s fresher, which means it contains a higher level of nutritional value—more ROI on your food dollar! All kinds of good ripple effects happen when we put our food dollars into circulation among people who live close to us, who we can come to know, and who in turn employ local people and put those dollars back into our region.
Check out the Edible San Diego Market Guide for a countywide list of open air food markets.
Search the UCSD Center for Community Health's Good Food Finder for County farmers to buy from directly.
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