Food and drink 

30 days of food-wise sustainability, One step at a time

By Glenda Bartosh

The second “30 Days of Sustainability” campaign recently wound up. Sponsored by an unlikely assortment of bedfellows, ranging from the Georgia Straight to Alcan, the province-wide initiative that kicks off on Earth Day grabbed more attention this year. The big seller was the “turn it off” campaign May 16 that saw lots of folks — including the lightkeepers on Lions Gate Bridge — power off.

One woman interviewed on CBC was integrating one new thing that was sustainable into her life for each of the 30 days. Her ideas were totally doable — things like buying a low-flow showerhead to only running the tap to rinse her toothbrush instead of recreating Niagara Falls the whole time she brushed her teeth. She intended to retain all 30 new choices permanently.

That got me thinking, why not do the same with food-based initiatives? So here are 30 things you can do that will make this beleaguered planet — and maybe even you — healthier, ergo more sustainable. Most of them are small but totally doable. And even if you do just one of them once, it will make a difference.

1. Go organic, even just once. Try it. Buy one organic apple. Or one piece of organic meat. See if it tastes better. Or if you feel better knowing it was grown without chemicals, or sprays, or raised without hormones or antibiotics. You don’t have to get too hung up on it being certified. If you know the source and they say they aren’t using chemical fertilizers or pesticides, it’s got to be okay.

2. Cut down on meat, or go vegetarian all the way . Try eliminating just one meat dish this week for starters. I know it’s tough when you’ve been raised a meat-lovin’ Canadian. My husband and I both wish we didn’t like meat so much, so what we’ve done is compromise. We eat much less meat than we used to, and we do our darnedest to buy what I call clean meat — either certified organic or from a source we trust that’s raised the animals with respect and care. There are a lot of good moral and practical arguments out there for going vegetarian or even vegan if you can, and now’s as good a time as ever to make the switch.

3. Eat porridge . Lots of it, every day for brekkie. It’s a great fuel, satisfying and tasty, and easy on the old Earth to grow, produce and even cook. (Boiling up a pot of porridge uses about 10 minutes of stove-based energy vs. how many hours in an oven for a roast?) Besides, if you have porridge for breakfast, I guarantee you’ll be less hungry all day long. How sustainable is that?

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