October 16th, World Food Day, encourages us to take action in our local communities to be a part of the solution to end hunger. October 24th, National Food Day, is a celebration and movement for healthy, affordable, and sustainable food. To celebrate, let’s take a look at some of the ways we can eat more sustainably:
A great place to start is to reduce your meat intake. This may take the form of Meatless Mondays, one meat-free meal a day, or pescetarianism (eating only fish)--whatever style you fancy, be intentional about eating less meat. It may be silly to list the incredible number of benefits from reducing meat intake but among them happen to be combating climate change, reducing global hunger, and adding a few years to your life.
When we’re out to eat in certain restaurants, and even in Marketplace, they often serve larger portions than we’re hungry for. Sometimes at home we cook pots of food larger than our stomachs. Don’t toss out your leftovers! Be sure to reuse this for a snack tomorrow, or if it’s lunch--perhaps the other half can be saved for dinner. Who doesn’t love a two-for-one deal? If you made too many noodles at home, opt for storing them in a reusable plastic container rather than plastic wrap. If you’re coming from Benson, wrap your leftovers in an eco-tray for convenient carrying of your food to-go!
When purchasing food, be sure to pay attention to excess packaging! Certain grocery stores, bakeries, cafes, etc. may distribute their food triple-wrapped in a manner that is wasteful of materials. Whenever you do come across this, be sure to recycle plastic containers and film. However, it is best to support businesses who are conscious of their packaging. One easy way to avoid this issue is the Santa Clara Saturday farmers’ market--just bring your reusable bags and you can collect food wrapper-free!
Another good reason to head to the farmers’ market is to support local farmers. Food and farm workers are some of the most marginalized workers in the United States. Use this opportunity to meet farmers face-to-face and build community. Show respect for business in your backyard. You’ll be amazed that grocery shopping can be a joy rather than a chore. Your friendly farmer may provide you sweet deals, recipes, and even free samples!
By Claire Ryan '14, Sustainability Intern