You don’t have to live off the grid or lobby Congress for green initiatives to care for the Earth. In fact, sustainable initiatives can start in a surprisingly simple place — on your plate.
Sustainable eating can reduce your carbon footprint, spare precious resources, and support more ethical food systems.
Plus, it can even save you money. Contrary to what you might believe about needing to purchase all organic ingredients, pricey vegan products, or only grass-fed meats, an environmentally friendly diet doesn’t have to drain your bank account.
Here are 10 ways to eat green and save some green too.
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The local food movement is surging in the United States as people take an interest in supporting the local economy, getting to know farmers, and trying out regional foods.
Food grown close to home requires less transportation to reach you, cutting down on emissions and fossil fuel use. In turn, this cuts down on costs.
Plus, the more you invest in eating locally, the more you may find yourself exploring exciting new flavors and foods. For example, you can cook with nopales or bake with mesquite flour if you’re in the Southwest or try marionberries if you’re in the Northwest.
If you’ve ever tasted a perfectly ripe strawberry in June or a crunchy stalk of asparagus in April, you’ve experienced the delicious rewards of seasonal eating.
Foods harvested in season tend to be at their peak of ripeness and taste — and they’re sometimes even higher in nutrients. For instance, one study found that broccoli grown in season was higher in vitamin C than broccoli grown out of season (1).
Seasonal foods also tend to be less expensive than those purchased out of season. (When a farm or food retailer has an abundant crop on hand, they’ll often price it low to get it into consumers’ hands before it goes bad.)
Grab a cartful of fresh corn in the summer or a crate of oranges in the winter and you’re likely to pay bargain prices rather than the top-dollar amounts you’ll fork over out of season.
From an environmental perspective, seasonal eating supports foods’ natural growing cycles (2).
To grow crops year-round — as the industrial food system demands — food …….