A sustainable diet, according to Medical News Today, is one that “has a low impact on the environment and food supply” and ensures that “the planet has enough resources to feed future generations.” There is no one single sustainable diet, and many pre-existing diets fall into the category of sustainable, the most effective of which are vegetarian and vegan diets because of how much they reduce meat consumption by. Meat and animal product consumption is less sustainable because of methane gas emissions from livestock and the greater number of resources and land required to produce meat than plants (Johnson). Similarly, processed foods are often less sustainable, as all of the resources required to make them. However, it is important to note that you do not have to become fully vegetarian or vegan in order to have a sustainable diet. Below are some basic things you can start doing to start reducing your impact. I decided to share similar facts and tips on an instagram page I created, and I have shared one post below. I would appreciate it if you would go check it out!
This issue is also very relevant to my local community here in Greenville, South Carolina, where we have many food deserts. A food desert is an area “where residents do not have access to affordable nutritious foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.” In these places, people often have to shop for groceries at convenience stores and gas stations which have a very limited selection of healthy, sustainable foods (Pearce). They often have “low household incomes and high percentages of no vehicle access”, making it very difficult to seek out nutritious foods (Barton). Here is a detailed map of all the food deserts in the state idendtified by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. Luckily, a local Greenville organization, Mill Village Farms, has been helping to provide more access to sustainable food, through their Food Share program, which sells boxes of fresh produce retailed at about 30 USD for only 15 USD (FoodShare Greenville). Recently, they have also been assisting in providing food for locals affected by the COVID-19 outbreak (Pearce). For any fellow Greenville residents interested in how they can help, more can be found here.
Answering a few of these questions would help let me know how to continue to improve upon this or similar projects in the future:
- If any of you already practice a sustainable diet like veganism, vegetarianism, or others, what convinced you to begin?
- If any of you are hesistant about adopting some of these changes, what specifically seems daunting about it?
- What did you like or not like about the layout/design of my instagram page?
- I encourage you to do some research about whether or not there are any food deserts in your communities and any similar orginizations working to help. What did you find?
Thanks so much for reading!