When did it become so hard to source and eat food without the guilt?
We worry about:
- creating waste and landfill contributions
- how far it has had to travel to our plate
- how many preservatives and additives are in our food
- animal cruelty and deforestation
- whether it has been overly processed
- just how much refined sugars and fats have been added
- water use in production
- how long and how it was stored before it was offered as ‘fresh’
- food safety, especially given the latest berry health scare
- whether it is nutritious at all any more
- whether the kids or husband or wife will eat it
- if it is supporting local farmers
- if there are GMOs in it
- if it is organic and if so certified organic
- what the best deal for your money is
- whether it was fairly purchased by the middle guy
- and on and on it goes….
When did sourcing and eating our food suck all the flavour out of life?
A large part of why we are offering you this store is so that these complex and complicated decisions about your next meal can be made just a bit simpler.
Wasteless Pantry is about making it easy to shop and eat responsibly because sustainable is responsible.
We are all about “Progress not Perfection”, a term that we have seen a lot lately including on Conversations with My Sisters blog. This means that we are trying our best and always looking to improve what we are doing so one step at a time. When we open the store we will have sourced the best we can at that point. We will make mistakes, we will experiment and get it wrong, but we will continue to try to get it just a little better next time. And that is all we ask of you too.
So how do we decide what are our best food choices? Below is the Wasteless Pantry Guide to Sustainable Food Choices….
Less packaging is our top priority.
“There is no excuse for single use”
Whilst everyone there probably went to bed still singing this one line, it was a simple reminder of the priority we are working toward.
If you think about it, all the effort and resources that went into every single use product or package you buy and then throw away is the equivalent to getting a beautiful handmade quilt from someone dear and using it as a disposable napkin. Only in 10 years time at least the quilt would have composted back into the earth!
- So this is our first decision making question – how can we minimize the waste?
Local is always better.
Producing, sourcing and eating locally grown food is almost always a more sustainable option than sourcing further afield.
Grown to be eaten sooner, the food can ripen more naturally. It is grown to be transported a shorter distance so it doesn’t need to be as robust, and can be more flavorsome instead. Local seasonal food is picked at its best and most nutritious so is more likely to be better for you.
And best of all, local food doesn’t need to travel huge distances to get to your plate. You might even get to know who grew it and how. Anyone involved in the frozen berry health scare can attest to how important that is. Brook ‘Sparkles’ Murphy at the Less is More Festival calculated that her green super food smoothie was produced with a massive amount of greenhouse gases due to where and how the ingredients were produced and sourced.
- So this is our second decision making question – how local can we get this product?
Organic where we can.
The effort that goes into growing the wonderful food we eat makes such an impact on our environment. Organically grown food is more sustainable than conventionally grown goods as there is fewer chemicals put into the environment and these farmers understand the importance of putting nutrients back into the soil.
There are concerns about the chemicals used getting into our bodies too. Of course the quality of the soil greatly impacts on the flavor and nutritional density of the food grown as well.
The thing is though, that a lot of organically grown foods are packaged wastefully to stop them being contaminated by conventional food. Doesn’t this strike you as interesting that the farmer would go to all that effort to care for the earth and avoid the use of chemicals, to then have the food packaged in something made of chemicals that threatens the earth?
- So our third decision making question is – can we source it as close to organically as possible?
Having made these three decisions of sourcing the least packaged, most local and closest to organic product we can get there is one final question that we raise throughout the entire decision making process:
Is the food ethically produced?
Every effort is made to source options produced without animal cruelty such as avoiding uncertified palm oil. We also aim to offer Fair Trade products and those that support a fair price for farmers locally. We are also keen to support Rainforest Alliance initiatives. Rainforest Alliance has a broad social and ecological mandate that spans many sectors including agriculture. For example, Coffee is one of the agricultural crops targeted by Rainforest Alliance programs. The coffee certification program is aimed at ensuring that coffee workers are paid fairly, treated with respect and that the crop they tend does not contribute to soil erosion, water contamination and forest destruction: the Rainforest Alliance seal means that both social and environmental values are respected.
There are so many other considerations that just haven’t made it onto our radar.
Mostly because once you follow these guiding questions your choice of what to eat next is reduced in such a beautiful way. It is not about which brand being advertised or which fad super food or diet to follow, or even about what that celebrity chef showed you on TV last night. It becomes about cooking seasonal goods that taste great and don’t come with a side of eco-guilt.
It becomes about getting the rubbish out of our kitchens and off our plates.