ENVT 200 03

Changing the food I eat

I love eating. I love it more than a lot of things. And like many things, my diet has evolved so much over the course of my life. From eating baby food as a new born, to eating strictly hamburgers and chicken fingers as a kid, to expanding my palette to pretty much anything. This is the diet I have today. I eat a lot of different foods, from a variety of backgrounds, cultures, recipes, and restaurants. As I’m writing this, I’m eating a bowl of ramen I cooked using only ingredients from the local Asian market in North Charleston. My taste buds run wild.

However, this doesn’t always mean I eat the healthiest and most sustainable options. In fact, I’m sure 95% of the food I eat is not sustainable at all. A lot of the food I buy is not locally bought or produced except a few items such as produce or fruit, but even these are typically imported. Even the food I got from the Asian market. Sure, it’s a local business that I’m supporting, which benefit our local economy be more sustainable, but the food they sell is ALL imported. Every single item. It must have all been shipped via cargo ship, at least most of it. Keep in mind, cargo ships are the least sustainable mode of transportation in the world due to the incredibly damaging/harmful sludge created by its fuel. Even the oreos, bread, lunch meat, fruit, milk, etc are all imported from a place other than our local community, meaning it is not sustainable or efficient compared to available options.

So, how can I fix this? Well, I’ve been looking to change my diet habits for a few months now. I haven’t yet made the change but I definitely want to. It would not only be more sustainable to buy locally and grow my own produce, but it would also inevitably be healthier for my body. I’d be reducing global gas emissions from fossil fuels use to ship items, i’d be helping the local economy, and i’d be supporting sustainable crop and produce growth without the use of commercial pesticides and fertilizers that are often used in commercial farms around the world.

I’ve already begun changing small pieces here and there rather than starting cold turkey. I’ll typically choose to buy organic locally grown food even if it means a little extra money and time. However, I still consume many things that aren’t sustainable and local, but I can see myself ridding these of my diet in the future as I age and have extra money to spend towards it. When I have a family, I do intend to eat 99% locally grown and produced food, which im excited for because I love to cook and it’s a perfect opportunity to take the produce I find and prepare a delicious meal.

3 thoughts on “Changing the food I eat

  1. carpenterlz

    I think this is a very honest and encouraging post. Thank you for sharing with us your personal choices. I struggled with whether or not to make a big change to my diet two summers ago, but when I finally did it I was very happy with myself. However, I am in your same position of trying to figure out how to eat sustainably without breaking the bank. I live near the Veggie Bin on Spring Street and find it to be very helpful when trying to “eat local.” They do not have everything local, but they have a white board in the corner that tells you what was grown locally. They also have a lot of products that even if they aren’t from Charleston, are from SC or NC (which eliminates the cargo ship problem). Also, their prices are pretty reasonable and they have a reward system where you get a punch for every $10 and then after so many get a discount. Lastly, they charge you extra to use one of their bags and not bring your own which eliminates waste. Hope you get to check it out, or if you already have I hope you decide to go back!

  2. caldwellcm

    I really enjoyed and related to your post! Eating locally is so incredibly important and I did not understand that at all until last semester when I wrote an article for CisternYard News on Lowcountry Local First. It truly makes such a difference for the environment, our local economy, and personal health. However, I also find it difficult to invest as much in local ag as I truly want to due to my student budget. The best option I have found is the James Island Farmers Market which goes on every Sunday and happens year round. You should definitely check it out, it is such a fun resource for not only produce, but local home goods and gifts!

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