Wednesday, September 1, 2010

No Impact Experiment Week: Day 4

Day 4 in the No Impact Experiment is all about food.

I am happy to say this area I have made the most change in the past 5 years.  In college I became a vegetarian, but I still ate dairy products.  That lasted for a few years.  And while I don't consider myself a vegetarian anymore, mainly because I don't like labels; I don't eat meat very often.  And I think this is key for being more sustainable.  I feel that everyone can reduce their meat consumption and many resources would be saved.  Feeding animals in the mass quantities as the U.S. does, it uses mass amounts of water and grain.  I don't think everyone should be a vegetarian but I think it would be very reasonable to ask people to eat only one serving of meat a day or every other day.  I think Americans are too use to cheap meat, so they eat it at every single meal.  The thought to me is just disgusting.

Many people go on to claim that they need meat to get their protein.  There are many other options of protein besides meat, and you probably don't need as much protein as you think.  There are eggs, cheese, beans, quinoa, which are all good sources of protein.  And then there are many combinations you can have to get a complete protein.  Pretty much any whole grain with a legume equals a complete protein.  But anyway, I am getting off topic a bit. 

Besides just reducing your meat consumption there are other steps in being more sustainable in your eating.  Like eating local and in season.  Some places it is harder to eat local, so eating in season may be the best route.  In the summer this is super easy since there are so many fruits and vegetables that are in season.  In the winter it becomes more challenging.  This past winter I did my best at getting any available produce and then trying to stay in season.  I only ate fresh apples and citrus in the winter for this reason.  For berries I stick with frozen and check the label to make sure they are not coming from a country across the globe.  And with vegetables, I refuse to eat cucumbers when they are not in season.  I try to limit my consumption of peppers and summer squash but I do still eat them every now and then.  I am sure I can to better and I will keep trying to do my best at eating in season and local when possible. 

Today you are again suppose to look at also how you eat your food.  The packaging you use and what it comes in.  Again we are pretty good about this, with using reusable containers at home and not eating out very often.  One thing I can be better about is when we do eat out, making sure to take a container for leftovers in stead of using their to-go-box. 

Has anyone changed their eating habits recently to be more sustainable?

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