The food on our plates is as important to our planet’s survival as it is to our own health. In California, the tools you need to make smart food choices are right at your fingertips.
Recipe for a Healthy Planet
Eat Locally and Seasonally. The impact on the environment of both long-distance food shipping and large-scale food production can’t be overstated. Did you know that the average meal travels about 1,000 miles before reaching your kitchen table?
But there is something you can do to help. You can buy local — farmer’s markets are great places for this — and eat fruits and vegetables that are in season to reduce the number of miles your food needs to travel.
- Find a farmer’s market in your area.
- Shop Smart. Much of the food produced today contains harmful synthetics and chemicals, and its excess packaging adds to our landfills. So, buy organic as often as possible; avoid products with too much packaging; and try reusable shopping bags—many grocery stores will give you a discount when you bring your own bags.
- Read Labels. What’s the difference between “fair trade” and “shade grown”? What exactly does sustainable agriculture mean? You can use our handy food label decoder to get to the bottom of it all. And while you're at it, find out what we're doing to support sustainable ranching.
- Eat Sustainably. Sustainable seafood is becoming more common at the grocery store, in restaurants and on our dinner tables. But how do you know which fish to buy and which to avoid?
The Monterey Bay Aquarium’s seafood guide is a great tool for helping you decide what to purchase and eat.
And you can also learn how the Conservancy is working with fishermen to change the way fish are caught — it’s better for our oceans and better for you!
- Grow Something! California’s climate is ideal for growing many fruits and vegetables right at home. Tomatoes, berries, lettuces, radishes and many other foods are easy to grow in as little as one square foot of soil! You will know exactly what your family is eating, you'll be saving money and your carbon footprint will be next to nothing.