As a college student, my diet usually consists of whatever is cheapest and easiest to make. This is not the best mindset to have as a strong supporter and student of sustainability. Buying local and organic is on my priority list, but convenience creeps above the rest. All excuses aside, eating more sustainably means I need to take an active role to know where my food comes from.
The Buzzfeed Investigation, 11 Food Companies That Won’t Tell You Where Their Meat Comes From, reminded me of how processed and mysterious our food really is. Talk about a wakeup call. Chris Ritter, author of the article, quite simply states, “Eating a frozen Tombstone pepperoni pizza is an act of ignorance and bliss.”
During an English class in my first year of college, I realized the confusion and horror of our food culture and industry. After watching Food Inc. and reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma, I began to understand that the truth behind our food is hidden away and it is my job as a global citizen to care and take action. After opening my eyes to the ideas of sustainability, I committed to eliminating my use of plastic water bottles and picked out a hormone-free grass fed turkey for Thanksgiving.
Even as my passion for sustainability continues, some of my actions still reflect my commitment to convenience. The next time I try to mindlessly run to the grocery store for lunch meat, this will be what comes to mind:
New York Times reports: “An estimated 30 percent of the earth’s ice-free land is directly or indirectly involved in livestock production, according to the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization, which also estimates that livestock production generates nearly a fifth of the world’s greenhouse gases — more than transportation.”
As unsustainable as our food supply is, there is hope. The documentary Fresh by Michael Pollan, offers inspirational solutions that make healthy and sustainable food supply possible. Will Allen of Growing Power believes everyone should have access to healthy foods, no matter where they live. He has a three-acre vertical farm in the middle of Milwaukee, Wisconsin and he teaches others on how to do the same.
Check out the trailer for Fresh to learn more about the food supply solution:
This spring, I’m inspired to build a backyard garden to grow fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs. It’s also time to pick the farmers market over the supermarket for fresh, local foods. What’s more convenient, rewarding and sustainable than eating right from your own backyard?
What sustainable food choices do you make?