It is difficult nowadays when we do our weekly shopping for the family to choose food that is not only healthy but has been produced in a sustainable manner. Packaging is overloaded with information, most of which means nothing to an average shopper. Over 3000 tons of pesticides, including insecticides, herbicides and fungicides are used in New Zealand every year. These chemicals leave residues in the food we eat and are soaked up by our soil and find their way into waterways. These pesticides end up in the food we consume on a day-to-day basis and are not required to be listed on nutritional labels.
The simple way to buying sustainable food is to look for the organic certified label to be sure no pesticides are in the food or used in producing the food you bring home. Buying organic food can be a pricey alternative; however even swapping some of our daily diet staples, such as bread, can be a positive step to supporting sustainability.
There are various ways to buy organic produce on a budget, such as local farmers markets and if you happen to live in rural New Zealand you can buy some of the plums or berries that your neighbours may grow on their land. When buying fresh produce even in your local supermarkets ensure you choose what is locally grown and what is in season. By buying local produce you are not only supporting New Zealandâ€™s agriculture, but also cutting down on the fuels used to import out of season and normally over priced food. For more information on going organic on a budget check out this link: http://www.motherearthnews.com/relish/eating-organic-on-a-budget.aspx
A great way to be sure your food is fresh and pesticide free is to grow it yourself. Not only can you grow your own delicious fruits and vegetables, but it can be something the whole family can really enjoy. Encouraging the younger generations in these activities can be an invaluable educational experience in learning the importance of being sustainable not only in what we buy, but in our own homes. For ten great reasons to grow your own look at: http://www.foodmatters.tv/articles-1/top-10-reasons-to-grow-your-own-organic-food
Being a conscious buyer in todayâ€™s world is important, by paying the higher price for organic your paying a fairer price to a sustainable farmer and supporting an important system. We are lucky here in New Zealand to have an abundance of local farmers markets and great orchards and small farms right outside the cities providing us with fantastic produce. We can grow our own seasonal fruits and vegetables in the garden and create a fun and educational experience for our children. By adopting sustainable practices we are supporting local business and creating a healthier and safer environment for our families.