Eating Sustainably Over the Holiday Season

December 22, 2011 at 1:18 pm Leave a comment

The holidays mean many different things to everyone, but one thing that can be a universal expectation is food! No matter your traditions, they include food somewhere. With many people coming together and your food not being prepared the way you are accustomed, it can be difficult to continue your sustainable eating habits. Traveling might leave you void of your usually sources for sustainably raised and healthy food. Here are some tips to help keep up with your sustainable eating while on the road, or in someone else’s home.

Holiday eating have you feeling weighed down?

1. Choose the ‘lesser of two evils’:

When left with no control over the choice of food and drink at a party, go in prepared. Some common brands are much more healthy and sustainable than others.  Know ahead of time which brands or ingredients are less harmful can help you make responsible choices. Small actions like choosing dark chocolate over milk chocolate, or avoiding artificial coloring can add up.  Greenopia has a rating system for corporations with descriptions of their efforts, including   Beverage options , coffee and tea, candy, Fast Food, and many others.

Remember the dirty dozen and the clean fifteen when eating non organic vegetables. You can use this easy site to calculate the green house gas emissions averages for different foods as well.

Knowing the Aggregate Nutritional Density Index of various foods might help choose which dishes you dive into. The top 30 rated foods can be found here.

2. Cut down on waste:

It is estimated that we throw away 3 times more food waste over the holidays than normal.  Bring reusable containers with you to parties to help out with leftovers and limit the use of paper consumables or even Styrofoam.  If you compost, volunteer to take the food waste home with you and give your compost pile a boost. (Your worms will enjoy the holiday feast!) Love Food Hate Waste has a fun and easy Portion Planner that helps calculate how much of each common ingredient you will need based on the amount of adults and kids attending. You will find other helpful hints on the website to cut down on waste year round.

3. Be the example

Remember that many of your family and friends might not be aware of the issues or steps they can take to lie more sustainably. Take this time of year to share your knowledge and passion with them. Setting an example and educating others is the most rewarding gift you can pass along.

We hope you all have a safe and joyful holiday season!

Kayla Baake

EnAct Program Manager


Entry filed under: other.

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