Nowadays, we can get food from the four corners of the Earth. If you want tropical fruit during the winter, you can get it. You’ll never run out of oranges, mangoes, or bananas. While these fruits and other imported foods are delicious, it’s important to eat the foods local to your area.
Shopping for and eating locally grown food is stellar for the environment and your health. However, it’s a bit difficult to navigate these days when most common items are imported. Let’s go through some tips to become a responsible food consumer:
1. Research Food Local to Your Area
First things first, get to know what crops grow best in your area. Do some googling and go to the library to find resources. Talk to people at your local grocery store.
Figure out which foods grow during the specific seasons and tailor your diet to suit the standards. Buy some cookbooks that have recipes specific to your area if they’re available.
2. Go Into the Store With a Game Plan
Going into a grocery store can either be a terrible burden or a fun experience. Most of the time, we enter huge establishments that push certain products towards consumers due to profits. Those who consider grocery shopping burdensome should craft a plan of action.
You’ve already looked into local foods in your area. Now, you can craft recipes based on the ingredients. Plan what you’re going to cook for the week before you go shopping. Then, you can shop efficiently without succumbing to sales prices or food from far away.
3. Use Online Marketplaces Run by Farmers
While being responsible for your food choices involves eating mostly locally, some imported delicacies are hard to resist. Go easy on yourself. While you should avoid going into huge grocery chains and buying exclusively imported foods, you can splurge every once in a while.
If you want to buy certain foods that need to be imported, consider using online marketplaces. These stores are partnered directly with farmers. That way, you can enjoy imported foods while supporting farmers directly.
4. Go to Your Local Farmers Market
While grocery chains are great for certain products, there’s nothing like a farmers’ market. At a farmers market, you are directly exposed to the foods grown in your area. While farmers maintain a huge presence in these markets, you’ll also see other vendors as well.
You’ll be able to buy locally made dips, chips, and other snacks. Plus, you can also buy crops or plants from certain individuals if you have a green thumb.
5. Buy Less
When transitioning to the life of a responsible food consumer, you’ll have to adjust to buying less every week. A responsible consumer does not overbuy. The individual buys what they need, whether that can be accomplished in one trip to the store or several.
The more you minimize food waste, the better you’ll feel. However, take baby steps and don’t feel too down if you have waste.
Become a Responsible Food Consumer
The task of being a responsible food consumer seems impossible, but it isn’t. The journey will take a while since you’re changing your habits and mindset, but it’s worth it. When you follow the steps to be more responsible, your body, mind, and the earth will thank you.
Take your time, make small changes every day, and have fun in the process. Maybe a love for cooking or baking will pop up while you are in the process.