Since I chose to go to the Fueling for Fitness session at the Healthy Living Summit, I had to miss out on Evan and Lin’s Ethical Eating presentation. From what I’ve read in Kelly’s recaps and from what I heard from other attendees, though, it was a great session!
Ethical eating is near and dear to my heart. Ever since I decided not to pursue a job with a big-name food company, my opinions regarding food have been growing and changing.
While I was g-chatting with Ashley on Wednesday, I realized that I haven’t been doing a very good job at sharing my learnings, ideas and tips with my Savvy Readers.
So here are my food ‘rules.’ thoughts on eating, in no particular order. I can’t bear to call them rules, because I don’t follow them 100% of the time; nobody is perfect!
1. When I can, I eat local, seasonal produce. In the summer and fall, this is incredibly easy. Just go to the Farmer’s Market, and you’ll have plenty of options! Winter is where things can get a little tricky, depending on where you live. I have some plans for freezing and canning to allow me to enjoy the summer flavors all year long, which I will be sharing in a series of posts next week!
And yes, there are exceptions. Sometimes, you just can’t avoid getting produce from far-away places… we can’t grow things like bananas in Ithaca!
2. Whenever possible, I choose grass-fed beef or bison and free-range, organic chicken from local farms. This does mean that I don’t eat a ton of meat. Mostly because the meat I do eat is admittedly expensive, but totally worth it in terms of ethics and taste, in my opinion.
3. I choose eggs from local farms where the chickens have room to roam whenever possible. Bonus: these eggs are often fresher (and therefore last longer and taste better). They aren’t that expensive, either; at the co-op near our house, I can get a dozen eggs for only 30-50 cents more than conventional eggs at the big grocery store down the road!
4. I choose products with the shortest ingredients list possible, and include no high fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners. Don’t think you are being limited to pricey organic brands, either. Sometimes, these products have just as many ingredients and additives as other processed foods. Surprisingly, sometimes the best products are from the store brands found in the natural foods section!
5. I avoid products made with genetically modified foods whenever I can. This one is relatively new to me, and is really hard to figure out, but I’m working on it!
You may be wondering why I didn’t say that I try to eat only organic foods. There is, in fact, a reason that isn’t on my list. While I love the concept of organic farming, I know that the certification is expensive. Since I get a lot of my food from small local farms that perhaps can’t afford the official organic certification, I don’t worry too much about the label and still trust the sources I purchase food from.
Like I said, nobody is perfect. I try to eat this way most of the time, but I’ll admit it doesn’t always happen. I’ll be going more in depth on the science and my reasoning behind it all in following weeks!
What approaches do you take to your food in terms of ethics?