The pilgrims didn’t get their meals from the freezer case at the local supermarket. Why should you? This holiday season, harvest ingredients from the grocery that sustain our planet and its natural resources.Nate Woiwode is a policy advisor for the Nature Conservancy programs. He sat down with NY1's Kristen Shaughnessy recently to share his best tips for making your holiday dinner table green.
Tips for Eating Green
• Stick to sustainable seafood. New Yorkers have access to a huge amount of locally caught seafood, and from an ecological and economic standpoint buying seafood that comes from within the state should be encouraged. Striped bass is a very popular, local fish that is readily available and generally sustainably harvested. Another great choice are scallops from New York’s Peconic Bay, which are a delicious, local option, and something we at The Nature Conservancy have worked to restore with local partners over the last 10 years.
• Shop local. Buying locally grown fruits and vegetables, and also buying your holiday bird (turkey, chicken, duck, etc.) from a farm in your community, will help the economy in your neck of the woods while also helping the planet. A truly authentic Christmas dinner will feature local meats and produce, which is environmentally friendly fare that hasn’t been packaged and infused with preservatives. Knowing if your poultry is local can be difficult since many supermarkets will mark their produce with its origin while mass-market and packaged meats are from unknown destinations.
• Go organic. Conventional agriculture relies on all sorts of synthetic pesticides to produce the food that you eat. To stay organic, farmers cannot use synthetic pesticides, and instead rely on natural means, reducing the pollution that runs in to our drinking water, leaks in to our air and saturates our soils. Moreover, studies have shown that the major source of exposure to pesticides is through diet. Going organic is an easy way to limit how much pesticides make it in to our environment and your body.
• Fill your plate with veggies. “Going green” shrinks your waistline--and your carbon footprint. One of the best things you can do for the planet is to eat more greens, as meat requires habitat conversion that can damage the environment and uses a tremendous amount of natural resources in its production. Subtle changes in our diet can make a huge difference, so if you’re going back for seconds reach for the roasted potatoes.
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