Sustainability has become a very important topic in our society today, so much so that corporations all around the world now release sustainability reports. This all has to do with an increase in demand for sustainable goods. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, there was a 71% rise in searches for sustainable goods during the past five years.
One area where sustainability has a significant impact is the food industry and our food choices. As consumers, it’s important to be able to tell the difference between sustainable and non-sustainable food options. In this article, we’ll discuss how to tell if you’re eating sustainable food and why it’s so important.
What is Sustainable Food?
First, let’s define what we mean by sustainable food. Sustainable food refers to food that is produced in a way that preserves the environment and its natural resources, protects animal welfare, and supports local communities.
This means that sustainable food is produced using methods that are socially responsible, environmentally friendly, and economically viable.
So, how can you tell if you’re eating sustainable food? Let’s look at some ways you can know you’re making sustainable choices.
Look for Certification Labels
Many organizations certify sustainable food, and these certifications can be found on food labels. Some examples of certifications include USDA Organic, Fair Trade Certified, and Rainforest Alliance Certified.
Buy Local Food and Ingredients
Buying food that is produced locally is an excellent way to ensure that you’re eating sustainable food. When you buy locally, you’re supporting the local economy and reducing the environmental impact of food transportation and food supply chains. In case you were wondering, yes, 3Natives is made with all local ingredients!
Choose Plant-Based Options
Plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and grains, are generally more sustainable than animal-based foods. This is because plant-based foods require fewer resources to produce and have a lower carbon footprint.
Exploring plant-based diets and reducing your meat and dairy consumption can have a huge impact. If everyone in the U.S. ate no meat or cheese just one day a week, it would have the same environmental impact as taking 7.6 million cars off the road.
Avoid Single-Use Packaging
Single-use packaging is a significant contributor to waste and pollution. By choosing food options that come in reusable or biodegradable packaging, you’re making a more sustainable choice.
Learn About Food Production Practices
Educating yourself on food production processes and the environmental impact of different methods can help you make more informed food choices. For example, choosing grass-fed beef over conventionally raised beef can have a significant impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Why is Sustainable Food Important?
Now that we’ve discussed how to tell if you’re eating sustainable food, let’s talk about why it’s important:
Unsustainable food production methods can have a significant negative impact on the environment. These methods can contribute to deforestation, water pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions, which all have long-lasting effects on the planet.
Sustainable food is generally healthier because it is produced using fewer pesticides and chemicals. Additionally, plant-based foods are rich in nutrients that are essential for good health.
Don’t feel the need to consume non-sustainable foods to gain nutrients you think you’re missing out on. It’s realistic to get all of the nutrients you need by consuming sustainable foods.
Supporting Local Communities
When you buy local food, you’re supporting local farmers and communities. This can help strengthen the local economy, and as stated before, reduce the environmental impact of transportation.
The more you support local foods, the easier it will be for vendors to continue producing that food because of supply and demand. If there isn’t a demand for it, then you might see local options going away.
Sustainable food systems and production methods prioritize animal welfare. This means that animals are treated humanely, given adequate space to move, and are not subjected to cruel practices such as factory farming.
Enjoy Sustainable Options at 3Natives
If you want to start eating more sustainably or continue eating sustainably, 3Natives has countless menu items for you to enjoy. This includes several types of acai bowls, smoothies, salads, juices, and more. The options are endless. You can eat both plants and animals and still eat sustainably.
We use 100% organic and fair trade Sambazon acai. We are proud to support a company that helps over 20,000 local family farmers in Brazil and protects over 2,000,000 acres of rainforest. On top of that, 5% of the Sambazon fruit costs go directly back to the Brazilian community.
3Natives also uses fresh produce that is never frozen and is bought daily using local vendors. The tuna we offer is sustainably caught and only has 2 ingredients: fish and salt. Not only is our food sustainable, but our spoons, forks, knives, cups, and lids are all eco-friendly products.
Whether you want something sweet, savory, cold, hot, or anything in between, we have delicious choices for everybody. Stop in at your local 3Natives in Florida or Oklahoma and enjoy some delicious, nutritious, and sustainable food.