Did you ever ask yourself questions like „Where do you get your food from?“, „What kind of food do you buy?“, „What don’t you buy?“, „What kind of lifestyle do you want to pursue?“ Well, I have and still do, especially since my everyday life and my sources of supply have changed recently as you know.
Being a responsible human (and of course consumer) takes a little time and effort, especially when facing different kinds of questions to find our your priorities. And it’s absolutely worth it!
I try to life (buy) by the following three principles on food:
seasonal – local – organic.
for ourselves – for our environment – for us living in it
Well, nature does a wonderful thing – it provides us with enough energy, nutrients and vitamins the whole year round (at least here, in the middle of Europe). If we regularly eat seasonal vegetables and fruits, our demands would be covered. I don’t know many people who feed off in season, like it was completely normal (and necessary) for our grandparents’ generation. I guess we just aren’t used to the concept of eating seasonal food any more. There is plenty of food available throughout the year and the range changes almost monthly. So we benefit from a huge variety of sweet and cooling fruits in summer, while there is a whole bunch of nourishing, even warming vegetables in winter. So I might simply ask why not use the resources when they are available?
That brings me to my second point: why ship or even fly food around the world if we can have it much easier?
Wonderful fruits are available around here throughout the year. Regional, self picked or even homegrown strawberries do taste delightful, don’t they? So again, why take the effort and ship strawberries half way around the world if they also grow in the backyard and on local farms? These fruits may ripen fully before they make their short way from manufacturers to shops. Why? They simply don’t travel several hundred or thousand kilometers to get on our plates – what a timesaver! You can even taste the difference. Have you ever tried fully ripened fruits instead of degreening ones? You’ll know what I mean.
Besides, regional food provides us with enough nutrients and vitamins too. For example, dog rose, black currants and paprika are as good vitamin C providers as tropical oranges or kiwis. Again, why ship or even fly food around the world if we can have it much easier?
Mainly for two reasons:
One. To treat ourselves as we deserve. Why expose ourselves to more environmental toxins than inevitable? There are enough pollutants we can’t easily avoid, but chemical pesticides and mineral fertilizers don’t add in. And I surely avoid GMOs this way too. Better safe than sorry.
Two. To treat our environment in a sustainable way. Organic farming works under different circumstances than conventional agriculture. I sympatise with higher standards for environmentally friendly framing and better, species appropriate standards for cattle animal husbandry. And by the way, it seems and feels much more natural than any conventional approach.
Those three principles interlock and positively affect each other. Just think about the amounts of CO2 saved by choosing the alternative! Of course, it’s not always possible to unconditionally life after these principles (is it ever possible to strictly life principles without ifs and buts?) but I try to do my best.