2014 has been declared the “International Year of Family Farming” by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization. It’s all part of the exciting global push toward more sustainable farming practices, reducing hunger and food waste, and encouraging healthier eating.
In honour of this, Food Tank has come up with a list of “14 food resolutions to bring in the New Year.” It’s not too late to add some or all of these wonderful tips to your personal list of resolutions for 2014. Each tip provides important food for thought, as well as practical advice for making food-related decisions that can benefit our planet. Let’s all do our part to make 2014 a successful year for family farming. These are my top five favourite tips from Food Tank, embellished with some of my own thoughts. (You can read the full original list here.)
1. Meet your local farmerRemind yourself of the phrase “Know your farmer, know your food” (KYF2). Reduce the degrees of separation between consumers and producers by cutting out the middle guys and buying as directly as possible from farmers. This strengthens local and regional food systems.
2. Eat seasonal produce
By eating locally produced food, you can cut back on the environmental damage caused by shipping, and the energy wasted by growing heat-loving foods out of season. Money goes straight back into the local economy, too.
3. Promote a healthy lifestyle
Choose walking over driving. Get out and move around your community. Promote a culture of prevention by engaging in physical activity. Lobby governments to crack down on junk food marketing to children.
4. Consider the “true cost” of your food
Based on the price alone, inexpensive junk food often wins over local and organic produce. But you have to consider the whole picture, taking into account the eaters, businesses, farmers, and policy makers involved in making processed fast food. Consider antibiotics, artificial fertilizers, transportation, long-term health effects, etc.
5. Cook! (And then cook some more!)
I recently read an article called “The only way to defeat the food industry: Cook more!” It’s so true. Cooking connects nature and culture, as Michael Pollan explains in his new book. Cooking empowers eaters to take back control of the food system.
Do you have any food resolutions for 2014?