There are many opinions when it comes to sustainability in the food industry. Some people believe that veganism is the best way to help the planet, others believe that it doesn’t make a big difference what you eat. Doing my research, I came across many different approaches: Real Food vs. Big Food
Real Food describes products that are seasonal and not from large production chains (“Big Food”). By focusing on local suppliers, the carbon footprint is reduced through short or no transport routes. In addition, you counteract the mass production and animals live in much better conditions. If you have ever tried local and seasonal products, you will also know that the quality is significantly better.
Researchers have found that where and how your food is produced may be more important than the product itself. This is because in most cases, the production process makes a big difference when it comes to the overall carbon footprint. Long transportation times, high water consumption and resources being used during production all impact the sustainability of food. Also, the mass production of some foods is causing soil in some regions to be overfarmed and unusable in the foreseeable future. That’s why - for example - grass fed beef is more sustainable in most cases than the meat that’s coming from mass production outlets. In addition, the animals at these grass fed farms seem to be treated much better and have a much better quality of life. The big takeaway from this new information is to pay attention to where your food is coming from and think about the production process behind the products you buy. As long as you keep a balance of what you eat and focus on where your food is coming from, you are on a good way towards a sustainable diet.
One aspect that most people fail to consider is how many products can be produced at home, which is probably one of the most sustainable ways to eat. Obviously, not every fruit or vegetable can be planted from the comfort of your home. However, that is not the point of eating sustainably. It is important to take little steps that are available to you in order to strive towards a greener future.
The only 3 things that are needed for planting your own food at home is good soil, some kind of outdoor setting (many cities offer places you can even rent out for low costs to grow your own food), and seeds. Online there are unlimited resources to use in order to successfully start your own little garden. Here are my 3 favorites, which I have planted myself and can confirm how easy they are to manage:
You can either get seeds or a tomato plant, which you put into soil outside. Personally, I had the best experience with putting them right next to our house, where they would get a mix of sun and shadow. Tie the vine to a wooden stick or similar utensil and water it regularly. Tomato plants dry out comparatively quickly, However, they grow faster than you think and as soon as the first tomatoes are being harvested, you will have new ones every day.
The only thing that is very important with strawberries is that they can not be water locked. You can put them in a pot or in the garden - as long as you water them regularly and take care of them properly, the plant will produce new berries every year.
The good thing about herbs is that you do not need an outside area to grow certain types. Just grab some seeds from a store (e.g. a garden center) and plant them in pots, placed near a sunny window. Some herbs like rosemary, thyme or oregano are good for inside and outside!
So, now there is one more question: even if I get the seeds and all the supplies - when is the best time to grow what? It is common knowledge that some plants need more sun, others need a lot of water and often even the air quality can make a big difference too. However, instead of listing everything here we attached a great platform where you can search for all types of products below:
Seasonal Food Guide
Just choose your area of inhabitants, the month and you can see which products are available during this season! Enjoy!