In Celebration of Earth Day, Eat Green and Be Green!

In honor of Earth Day, I thought a good way to pay tribute to the globe would be to think about the way in which we interact with it most—food! Because eating is something that we do every day, it’s easy to not really think about where that food is coming from. But the truth is, choosing a healthy diet means paying attention to our food from start to finish: from the planting of seeds to the moment it hits our dinner tables.

Of course, we can’t ACTUALLY monitor our food as it grows, so we put our trust in those who do, and in this decision lies one of the keys to good, organic eating: choosing the right growers and suppliers.

My favorite way of doing this is going down to my local farmer’s markers for my weekly groceries. Buying from local growers and vendors has limitless benefits: not only is your food guaranteed to be fresher, you’re also doing your part ecologically, since buying local cuts down on transportation of food, lowering the use of fuel and decreasing your neighborhood carbon footprint. Another great advantage? You get to actually talk to the people who grew your food—who better to get information from? Is it organic? Were pesticides used? There’s no better way to find out than to have that discussion. Find your local farmer’s market here.

You may also want to look into Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA. CSAs buy fruits, veggies, meats, and dairy from organic farmers and organize local drop-offs. Find your CSA here.

If you don’t have the opportunity to stop and have a conversation with your local farmers about their growing techniques, there are other ways to keep track of how healthy your meals are. Worried about pesticides? The Environmental Working Group is a great resource for finding out which fruits and vegetables use the most and the least pesticides. According to their lists, fruits like avocados, bananas, pineapples, and mangoes use the least amount of pesticides, but peaches, apples, strawberries, imported grapes, and pears use the most. On the vegetable side of things, onions, sweet peas, asparagus, broccoli, sweet corn, and cabbage are the best when it comes to pesticides, with sweet bell peppers, celery, lettuce, potatoes, carrots, and spinach being the worst. Visit the EWG website for more complete lists and helpful information.

Remember to stay aware of what you’re choosing to put in your grocery basket in the first place: while fresh veggies, whole grains, and organic meats should go in, stay away from ultra-pasteurized dairy products, anything with high-fructose corn syrup, or highly processed meats.

If there’s one group of people who know how important this earth is, it’s farmers. Supporting your local farmers is a win-win situation: you’re helping the earth, supporting local business, and your meal is guaranteed to be delicious!

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