While it’s no surprise that local and organic foods have more beneficial nutrients (such as antioxidants) than their conventionally grown counterparts, did you know that they’re also fighting climate change?
A bed of red radicchio, a cold and perspiring cucumber in your salad, or a locally-grown heirloom tomato—organic food is our favourite, and more so during the dog days of summer! Going organic means getting rid of pesticide residues, synthetic fertilizers that exasperate climate change, and getting nutrients straight from healthy, organic dirt.
Organic farming equals less greenhouse gases
According to the David Suzuki Foundation, synthetic nitrogen fertilizers in soil produces nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas about 300 times more powerful than carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere. Organic farms rely on natural manure and compost for fertilizer. They store much more carbon in the soil, keeping it out of the atmosphere.
Not only is organic food good for the environment on land and in the soil, but also for the water supplies. The organic farmer keeps our water clean by stopping polluted runoff. This also conserves water, as organic products tend to require less irrigation than conventional products.
Local groceries are a win for our planet
It is estimated that we currently put almost 10 kcal of fossil fuel energy into our food system for every 1 kcal of energy we get from our food. Food grown closer to home is fresher, produces fewer transportation emissions, and supports local farmers. As the distance food travels decreases, so does the need for processing and refrigeration to reduce spoilage.
Now that we know the shift to organic and local food is one tool we can use to fight the harsh effects of climate change, here is what you can do:
1. Buy organic
Organic products have less pesticides and they’re fresher, GMO-free, and better for the environment. Look for dairy products labeled ‘pasture raised’ or ‘100% grass fed’ and for pork, chicken or eggs with a ‘certified organic’ label. Swapping conventionally raised chicken breasts for organic chicken is a simple way to get started. Check out our large variety of organic meats at SPUD.
2. Buy local
Local food reduces food miles—this helps to alleviate our dependence on fossil fuels, reduce air pollution, and cut back on greenhouse gas emissions. Go support your local community and your environment! Learn more about our local, organic, and certified farmers that SPUD sources from and supports.
3. Opt for plant–based meals
Minor changes like reducing meals with meat gradually, or having a meat-free day each week, can be simple (and effective!) options for doing your part. There are some great plant-based proteins such as quinoa, soy, seitan, walnut, and amaranth that can provide a rich source of protein and other nutrients without harming the environment. Check out the range of plant-based options we offer.
In order to fight climate change as a community, we can help by volunteering with environmental groups like Ocean Ambassadors, supporting non-profit organizations that promote sustainability like Ocean Wise, electing a responsible government, or adapting simple, sustainable choices in your daily lives—likes purchasing organic and local food. We know it can feel overwhelming and complicated. For now, while you are contemplating what you can do, how about carpooling your groceries? Oh, and also don’t forget to get your hands on our frozen organic lemonade freezies!