Sustainable food choices are beneficial for your health, the environment and budget. Plus, they’re great at combatting food waste!
According to the EAT-Lancet Commission on Healthy Diets from Sustainable Food Systems, switching to vegetarian or vegan diets can reduce your carbon footprint, improve health and lower disease risks. Furthermore, these strategies have the potential to eradicate world hunger and food insecurity.
Bring Your Own Reusable Containers
Bring your own reusable containers when dining out to reduce your environmental footprint and save you money. By reducing the amount of single-use disposable products used, you’ll reduce global greenhouse gas emissions while cutting back on waste production.
When traveling, it’s especially important to bring reusable lunches. According to Hubbub’s estimates in the UK alone, an average weekday lunch can generate four or more items of waste–including packaging–including from food preparation alone.
Avoiding unnecessary plastics by eating in public places that allow BYO, or bring your own container. Many restaurants, cafes and markets will provide discounts or free coffee if you bring your own reusable cup.
Restaurants and cafes may have recycling programs or container disposal areas where you can drop off your used plastics. These options help reduce landfill accumulation of plastic, as well as decreasing single-use plastic pollution that ends up in our oceans.
Though bringing your own containers to restaurants, markets and cafes may seem like an inconvenience, it can actually make the experience much more pleasant. Not only will you be able to reuse them repeatedly, but you won’t need to worry about them getting dirty or stained while out.
Restaurants can reduce costs by reusing and recycling containers rather than purchasing new ones. Some businesses even have re-use programs where you deposit your used containers and get reimbursed when they’re full. These initiatives are becoming increasingly popular, offering restaurants and cafes an incentive to support sustainable food options.
Explore Local Farmer’s Markets
Visiting your local farmer’s market is an excellent way to discover fresh produce and specialty foods. Plus, you’ll have the chance to meet and connect with the farmers who grow it – often leading to mutually beneficial relationships that promote sustainability in both agriculture and environmental protection. Market visits provide farmers with valuable opportunities for collaboration that benefit both themselves and their community.
If you’re in New York City and searching for locally produced vegetables and fruits, artisan breads or farm-fresh seafood, farmer’s markets have it all. These open-air markets make a perfect destination for a picnic or stocking up on groceries for the week ahead.
Many farmers markets have strict rules about what can be sold. Some require all products to come from a certain distance, while others allow cooperative sales arrangements between farmers.
Regulations like these are crucial, as they guarantee that the foods you purchase are produced locally and support local economies. This encourages sustainable food systems that are both healthy for you and the environment.
When visiting farmers markets, be sure to ask questions about the products you’re purchasing and their source. By doing so, you’ll gain insight into how these crops were grown and when they were harvested.
Furthermore, your market offers the perfect chance to ask farmers who sell at your event how they got started and what their goals are. By understanding their answers, you can develop a strategy that benefits both them and your customer base.
Visit Farm-to-Table Restaurants
Farm-to-table restaurants have become one of the hottest trends in modern food culture, offering travelers an opportunity to support local farmers and enjoy fresh meals without breaking the bank. But before you jump on board with this movement, it’s important to understand its implications for your business.
Farm-to-table restaurants are those that source their ingredients from nearby farms and markets, rather than using distribution companies. Not only does this promote community support and the environment, but it can also add significant value to your menu items.
Many farm-to-table restaurants collaborate with local farmers, who often sell their produce at farmer’s markets or other events. Chefs then transform these ingredients into delectable seasonal dishes.
This practice helps keep the farming industry in town, which can have a beneficial effect on both your neighborhood economy and personal health. Furthermore, it’s an excellent opportunity to showcase local farmers who may not otherwise receive much recognition.
When selecting a farm-to-table restaurant, be sure to read their menu carefully. It should provide information on ingredients used and farming practices used. This will give you an indication of how sustainable their practices are and whether or not they can meet your expectations.
Embrace Vegetarian and Vegan Options
Many have taken up vegetarian and vegan eating habits for the health benefits they provide, as well as to reduce their environmental footprint.
As a result, restaurants and convenience food services have responded to the increasing demand for meat-free options. Some of the biggest chains have launched meatless burgers, fries and sandwiches as part of their menu offerings.
Another advantage to vegetarian and vegan diets when traveling is they help you stay healthy, preventing common diseases like heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Furthermore, plant-based foods are packed with essential nutrients like calcium, protein and iodine.
Veganism can provide you with essential minerals and vitamins such as iron and B12. These essential nutrients support red blood cell production and nerve and muscle functioning.
No matter which diet you choose, make sure your meal includes plenty of fresh produce like vegetables, fruit, whole grains, legumes and nuts. These contain soluble fibres which may reduce your risk for digestive issues.
If you’re uncertain which diet is best for you, consult your GP or nurse for guidance. They can explain the health advantages of vegetarian and vegan eating as well as help create a plan tailored to fit your individual needs.
The trend toward vegetarian and vegan eating has never been stronger than it is today. As more and more people adopt this lifestyle, its appeal will only continue to spread. Plus, it’s easy to incorporate into your everyday life!
Avoid Fast Food Chains
It’s no secret that many people struggle with maintaining a nutritious diet. They may have difficulty paying attention to what they eat or simply lack the time to cook an extensive meal.
Fast food is convenient and budget-friendly. Additionally, many locations stay open late with drive-thru service available.
However, it’s essential to remember that a diet consisting solely of junk foods can be very unhealthy for both you and the environment. They could increase your likelihood of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes and other serious health issues.
Unfortunately, fast food chains typically serve up a lot of items that are high in fat, calories and sodium. Furthermore, they often use subpar ingredients.
They contain a lot of additives and preservatives which may have detrimental effects on your health.
When travelling for sustainable food options, it’s essential to avoid fast food chains at all costs. Instead, opt for restaurants that serve fresh, organic or locally grown options which are higher in protein and lower in fat. Bring along some healthy sides as well to help balance out the sodium and fat content of your meal.
Pack Snacks for the Road
Bring snack foods on vacation for a healthier approach to food waste reduction, as you can pack nutritious treats that keep everyone in the car energized and content. It also prevents you from buying snacks at gas stations or convenience stores which often contain preservatives that contribute to increased amounts of wasted food.
When packing snacks for the car, aim for items that are easily stored, nutritious and mess-free. Avoid items like candy bars and chips which may get lost or broken and cause a lot of crumbs in the car.
Another important tip is to bring foods that are low in sodium, which can cause bloating and make you feel sluggish over time. Instead, opt for lower-sodium options like whole-grain popcorn that can easily be microwaved while on the go.
Hard-boiled eggs are an easy, healthy snack that can be prepared ahead and stored for later. Not only are they packed full of protein, but their high fiber content helps keep hunger at bay during long car trips.
Other snacks to consider include crackers, graham crackers and salty pretzels that can be dipped in melted chocolate for some added enjoyment during car snacking. If you have a sweet tooth, add some fruit like apples or bananas into your bag of snacks; this will help curb hunger cravings while keeping you full until your next meal.
Sustainable food options are becoming increasingly important to travelers, and for good reason. By choosing ethically-sourced and sustainable foods, we can reduce the environmental impact of our travel and support local communities. From organic produce and vegetarian options to farm-to-table restaurants and street food markets, there are many ways to enjoy delicious and sustainable food while on the road.
By following the tips and suggestions in this article, you can make informed decisions about your food choices and help to promote sustainable tourism. Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, eating sustainably can make a big impact in the fight against climate change and environmental degradation. So next time you’re on the road, consider exploring sustainable food options and doing your part to support a healthier, more sustainable future for all.