Quick actions to green your diet

These are tips from Low Impact Week, which was held in February 2011 but can be done anytime!

The average mouthful of food travels an estimated 1,500 miles to reach us, requiring a staggering amount of fossil fuel.  Every time we eat food locally grown or produced, we reduce the need for these transportation costs.

Today we invite you to think about the food you eat and its relationship to your health. Try one or more of these steps:

  • Try to eat no meat today: be kind to your heart and try some great vegetarian dishes.
  • Buy groceries from the Davis Farmers Market, Davis Food Coop, or grocery stores that offer locally grown food and lower your carbon “food-print.”
  • Eat organically grown foods and keep both you and our planet healthier.

The real costs of eating meat are much greater than the price tag. Vast swaths of forest are being cleared for pastures, robbing the planet of trees, which absorb carbon dioxide. Cattle and sheep also release huge amounts of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. A recent United Nations study found that meat production is responsible for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions – more than the entire transportation sector.

The advantages of buying local food are many:  you receive fresh, delicious, nutritious food, the farmers stand a better chance of earning a decent living, and family farms are preserved.  If you need recipes: check out www.vegetariantimes.com

With regard to eating organic, you are reasonably assured that harmful substances will not get into the soil, food crops, and your body.   For community supported agriculture programs and farms in Yolo County, see: www.yolocounty.org/Index.aspx?page=1901.

Do you have a good idea to share with your neighbors? Add your comment below and update us on how the Challenge is going!

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Categories: Cool Solutions, Featured action, Food Farms & Gardens, Low Impact Week

  • Lynne Nittler

    I’ve always enjoyed a summer garden, and settled for a cover crop to enrich the soil over the dreary winter. But the last few years I’ve been growing winter /spring vegetables, and now I’m a convert! The secret is simply to plant after clearing out the summer remains, and to keep the seeds and seedlings sufficiently moist until the rains. If I get lettuce seeds started in October, I can enjoy fresh salads with a touch of arugula and dandelion greens all winter long and through the spring. All the greens I love so much can be started in October and November and harvested the first touch of warmth: Russian kale, collard greens, bok choy, mustard greens, and swiss chard. I had no idea they would be so easy and delicious. Home grown broccoli is the best. I rotate rows of fava beans, good for greens and beans, and irresistible sugar snap peas, to fix nitrogen. No luck yet with carrots or beets, but I need a challenge. A thick layer of straw between the rows solves the mud problem, and I find myself an avid and healthy winter gardener.

  • Alan Pryor

    I grow all my own fruits and vegetables but still buy breads, grains and legumes, and a small amount of eggs, meat, and dairy products. In my opinion, the absolute best source for these in town are the Farmer’s Market at Central Park on Sat AM and the Davis Food Coop during the rest of the week. Nowhere else can you get the freshness and quality and an emphasis on local food production. And the Davis Food Coop is an untiring supporter of progressive events and activities in Davis. I get great deals, great food, and a real pleasure that almost all my food dollars are recycled back into the local/regional community.

    Davis may be the best place in the world to live if you truly believe in locally or regionally sourced food (even meats and dairy products) because of the proximity and variety of foods from which we can choose. And with the Coop cooking classes showing us how to really liven up otherwise bland vegan dishes, it is a vegetarian’s delight.

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