What we choose to eat has worldwide implications. But the good news is that earth-friendly food choices are healthy for people, too. For more information…
Grow your own food
You can grow vegetables at home, and provide the most nutritious food possible for your family – “home”-grown produce! In addition to providing habitat for wildlife, this is the best stewardship of your land.
Instead of traveling thousands of miles by fossil-fueled trucks, your food can travel by foot from your garden to your table. Whether you grow just a small portion of your food or a larger percentage, every bit helps reduce your food’s footprint. (Here’s one example of growing a LOT of food in an urban area…) If you’re a beginner, you may have a gardeners-helping-gardeners group in your area, such as Edible Gardening CNY. If you’re an experienced gardener, start a similar group to help others! Some other good resources are:
Buy locally-produced food
Eating locally produced food has many advantages: it avoids the global warming pollution produced by shipping food long distances (often thousands of miles), spending less time on the road reduces loss of nutrients, it’s likely to be safer than “industrial” food produced who knows where under who knows what conditions, it supports the local economy … and fresh food tastes great! Find a local farmers’ market.
Join a CSA
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is the mutually beneficial arrangement whereby farmers and consumers cooperate so that food grown on small farms can be distributed efficiently for local consumption. The consumer buys a farm membership at the beginning of the season in return for a box of fresh, organically grown vegetables each week during the growing season. This program benefits both the farmer and the consumer: the farmer receives money before the start of the season when it is most needed to buy seed and supplies, and the consumer gets an assortment of fresh vegetables grown using environmentally responsible methods. Everyone in a CSA benefits from the lowered costs of packaging, marketing and advertising. For the Capital Region of NYS: The 100-Mile Diet Challenge for the Capital Region and for the rest of NYS.
Here’s some interesting faith-based articles on Community Supported Agriculture from Creation Care magazine, a publication of the Evangelical Environmental Network.
Preserve for the winter
Okay, we admit that New York State doesn’t have the longest growing season in the country, but we do produce a lot of delicious food in the time we have available! That makes preserving food a priority. Whether you grow your own, buy from farmers’ markets, or join a CSA, with a little extra effort, you can “eat local” through much of the year. Dehydrate, can, and freeze fruits and vegetables. Make jams to preserve those delicious local fruits. And simply store those crops, such as winter squash, in a cool, dark area. In fact, if you grow your own, some crops, such as parsnips, overwinter in place ready for a delicious spring meal.
Choose organic whenever possible
Organic farming respects the health of the soil, thus helping preserve precious topsoil for future generations. It also prevents further contamination of our soil, air, and water with pesticides, herbicides and all the other “‘cides.”