The busy lives of most Americans leave us with little time to actually think about the food we consume. On a daily basis, we do not realize what most of the ingredients going into our body actually are. While a packaged, pre-processed, and convenient snack may label itself as healthy, the truth is that most of what you are eating contains mostly corn and even things like tree bark and wood pulp. According to the USDA, Americans are eating too much corn in products ranging from snack bars to soft drinks.
While most Americans say they would like to eat a healthier, more sustainable diet, they are turned off by stores like Whole Foods that cater to the wealthiest members of the population. Fortunately, there are sustainable options that are available to Americans that won’t make savings account rates skyrocket.
The most important thing you can do to keep a sustainable and healthy environment is to load up on fruits and vegetables when they are in season. Not only will you get the best prices on an abundant stock, you will get the best tasting vegetation available. By purchasing locally instead of through major grocery chains and Wal-Mart, you can help the local economy, avoid pesticides, and make sure your food hasn’t been affected with dangerous bacteria like e-coli and salmonella.
If you are concerned about the sustainability of your meat products, you should do a little research. The largest meat producing companies like Tyson and Perdue perform some devastating acts of environmental negligence. Not only do the companies keep their livestock housed in filthy and deplorable conditions, they are fed harmful antibiotics and hormones that affect the well-being of humans.
A growing movement called environmental vegetarianism is sweeping the nation and making the practice more about health and well being than a fashion trend. Eating a purely vegetarian diet is not only healthier, but cheaper as well. Instead of purchasing expensive meat for protein, you can get it from cheaper beans, nuts, and lentils.
If you consider yourself a true, red-blooded North American and can not stand the thought of giving up meat, there are some reasonable and affordable sustainable options. Local food cooperatives and specialty butcher shops know the importance of raising happy and healthy animals. Instead of going through processing plants, the animals live on natural farms, are slaughtered humanely, and butchered by skilled artisans. The best way to save money when going this route is to buy a whole or half animal to store in your freezer.
Eating sustainably doesn’t mean you have to spend all of your money at Whole Foods or other overpriced retail grocery outlet. Just learn to avoid the processed foods featuring corn and other fillers as well as learning about alternative diets.