In our This For That Guides, you will find tips, inspiration, and our humble advice, all on how living a social good lifestyle will positively impact our well-being, community and planet.
Why use this guide?
Food sustains us. Food defines us. Food impacts us and our planet.
What Is Sustainable Food?
We inherently understand that eating healthy food means a healthy mind and body. But, knowing what "healthy food" means is a whole other beast these days. On top of that, how we grow our food and throw our food waste out directly impacts us too. So, this concept of healthy food encompasses more than just taking a bite out of that granola bar. The "goodness" of each bite we take is dependent on where the food is grown, quality of the soil and water, how it's packaged and transported, when it's delivered, and hundreds of eco-minded practices adopted from beginning to end. Yeah, we know, all this sounds somewhat overwhelming.
But, the fantastic thing about technology, information, and social good people's will, is that actions are being taken to change how we make our food and feed our people. In this guide and future updates, we are determined to shed light on what we as everyday people, foodies, workers, and shoppers, can do to help tip the balance towards a sustainable and regenerative food consuming habit.
Are Labels Helpful?
These days we're told to read labels in detail so we can make sure the food we eat is safe. But what if the ingredients list is long and hard to understand (yeah, we've been there). Reading labels is important because we need to know the source of the foods we consume; how it's grown, raised, caught and prepared. Ok, the label doesn't tell all of that. But, social good brands who make a sustainable commitment do provide us more information. So, look for those detailed stories by brands. We kinda need every one of us to buy from brands whose conservation practices protect the planet and our health.
It can be so much more enjoyable sipping that warm cup of morning joe or tea when you know the person who made it was treated fairly and respectfully. Check out Fair-Trade and Direct Trade coffees and teas. And buying from a smaller brand can mean giving back part of their proceeds to the community who grew the nuts.
Savvy tips you should know
We want to help shine light on things to look for (and to avoid) when starting your sustainable food journey. Being a sustainable advocate and foodie isn’t limited to just changing the food you put in your body, but also where and how you choose the foods you eat. For example, how do we manage food scraps? Eight percent of the Earth's greenhouse gas emissions come from food waste. If food scraps aren't properly composted, they will end up in the landfill and as greenhouse gas emissions to our air. A simple tip to adopt is to buy less food and compost when you can. Composting is an awesome way to sustainably process food waste. If can't compost, try a zero-waste mindset: buy what you can eat and re-purpose food scraps (homemade veggie stock, anyone!?)
Tips & Tricks
Developing a plant-based diet is one effective way to offset unnecessary water use, carbon emissions, and chemicals applied. If going vegan is not in the cards, start with practicing #MeatlessMondays! Or, eat meat that's sustainably and responsibly raised because it eliminates hormones and chemicals used, adopts humane and respectful treatment of animals, regenerates our soil and promotes slow food.
This for That
One of the easiest ways to be a more conscious foodie is to switch out some everyday products in your kitchen and pantry for more sustainable options such as:
Milk → Non-Dairy Milk such as Soy, Coconut, Oat or Almond
Whether you are starting or continuing your conscious foodie journey, it’s important to understand some of the common terms you’ll come across while browsing the aisles of your favorite grocery store. Check out some lingo to know below!
Organic: food produced without growth stimulants, antibiotics, or pesticides
Wild Caught vs Farm-Raised: when talking about fish, wild caught means they were taken directly from their habitat (ocean, lake, etc.) whereas farm-raised means they were produced commercially in man-made pens.
Free-Range: mostly referring to chickens and hens, free-range mean they have access to outside areas to move around rather than being caged in a pen; does not indicate the size of the free range area
Direct-Trade: for all you coffee lovers, direct-trade means the roasters bought their beans directly from the farmers who produced them
Fair-Trade: means cash crops like coffee, tea, cocoa must meet a standard of production and pricing meets market value
GMO: Genetically Modified Organism means the crop was altered in some way that's not sustainable for people and land.
Regenerative Farming: beyond sustainable practices to help promote healthy soils which creates responsible ecology
Regenerative farming: beyond sustainable practices to help promote healthy soils which creates responsible ecology