How a gluten-free diet helps me be greener (and healthier!)
- No more canned food, frozen meals or other highly processed foods. Reading through all the labels can be a real pain, which is why it has been easier for me to cook meals entirely from scratch. Instead of using ready-to-eat salsa to make enchiladas like I used to, now I take the time to roast chili and mix them with the right amount of oregano, cumin, sea salt, garlic and tomato paste. Processed foods carry a larger energy tag than fresh food, since they require more energy to produce. They often have ingredients that can be very unhealthy, like trans-fat and sodium.
- If I do need canned food, let’s say, canned tomato paste, I go for organic. Organic products tend to label products more thoroughly, which is why they make me feel safer. There is no scientific evidence that organic is healthier, but it is better for the environment.
- No more fast food for me. Although there is an emerging trend of eco-friendly fast food restaurants, a lot of it is nothing but greenwashing. Most-fast food chains have large carbon footprints and produce massive amount of packaging wastes. Check out the cheeseburger carbon footprint.
- Supporting local business. In my town,
, the best carrier for organic/gluten-free/all-natural foods is People's Grocery Cooperative. People's mission is, "to provide a marketing and purchasing outlet for minimally processed, high quality nutritional food and other goods and services." While I'm picking up my favorite gluten-free rice crackers, I hardly resist the temptation to grab some locally produced honey and chemical-free soap (also produced in Manhattan, Kansas . Kansas)
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