In the Kitchen (and garden)
Eat LocalWorld Watch reports that the ingredients for a meal in the average North American home typically travel between 930 to 2,485 miles, a 25% increase from 1980 alone. This average meal uses up to 17 times more petroleum products and produces 17 times the carbon dioxide emissions, compared to a local meal. Local foods travel a significantly shorter distance to your doorstep. This means that fruits and vegetables will arrive naturally ripe, fresh and more flavorful! The shorter distance also reduces the fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions associated with the transportation of goods.
- St. Louis Farmers Markets – Eat Local by learning where in St. Louis you can get the produce you want in a convenient, affordable way.
- Farm Fresh – Love berries, apples and peaches? You'll want to head straight to the source. This site's farm directory lists Missouri Farms and their products.
- Missouri Wine – Discover Missouri’s Great wineries!
At the StoreGrocery stores are not all made the same. When shopping, look for signs and labels, or ask the produce manager about the products. Foods in season are more likely to be locally produced, and the prices of organic foods are coming down as the demand for organic produce increases.
Reduce Waste from the SourceWhen shopping, remember to look for items with minimal packaging. Less packaging means less materials to be extracted, processed, and transported – all of which are energy-draining activities. Buy less stuff, buy higher quality durable products and don't forget your reusable shopping bags. Buying used is another way to reduce waste. Visit second-hand stores, yard sales or online resale sites for great deals, while at the same time rescuing items from the landfill.
Avoid Pesticides, Go OrganicA study by Carnegie Mellon University researchers found that food transport accounts for 11% of food-associated greenhouse gas emissions, while production contributes a whopping 83%. Specifically, nitrous oxide and methane (mainly byproducts of fertilizer use, manure management and animal digestion) make up a huge piece of the emissions pie. So it makes climate sense to go for organically grown foods as well as local.
Know the Best Foods to Buy OrganicPeaches, apples, sweet bell peppers, celery, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, lettuce, imported grapes and pears make up the list of the top ten fruits and veggies that are best to eat organic. Incidentally, foods with the least amount of pesticides are onions, avocados, frozen sweet corn, cabbage, pineapples, mangoes, frozen sweet peas, asparagus, kiwis and bananas.
Check out Food News by the Environmental Working Group.