food and waste

I keep running into a dilemma with my food…because of it’s waste. I had 2 big goals this week of eating food that is approximately 70% locally sourced and keeping my waste to the size of a plastic bag. The problem that I keep running into is that a lot of local food actually comes in a small amount of plastic. I could potentially do what the woman from the zero waste family did and drive to a store that would let me use a jar to carry my meat and produce in, but I think that wastes more energy than is necessary. So, I’m really having to decide which goal is more important and impactful (meaning least environmental impact).

Less trash is important because it reduces the waste stream from craddle to grave and thus reduces resource extraction and potentially carbon emissions. However eating local doesn’t just cut back on carbon emissions, it also supports the local economy. It also means more humane treatment of workers. And it means potentially less toxins in my local environment. I think I’m going to have to go with eating local, which means that I might have a little more waste than I wanted, but we’ll see.

Also, I was in such a rush to eat tonight since I only had my breakfast food at 11:30am to tied me over all day (and no snacks to avoid plastic wrappers), that I didn’t have time to make a full blown local, vegetarian meal. So my dinner tonight was chili with local meat, tomatoes, and onions and non-local beans and spices. I also used non-local cheese. So my dinner was more like 60% local, but my breakfast was about 75% local. Trash was one plastic bag that the meat came in. It wasn’t my greatest accomplishment, but I’m okay with the results. 


One Comment

  1. An interesting dilemma indeed. One would think that local foods would have less plastic packaging than other foods that come from further away, but than you also get into how we define local. In some instances, “local” food can come from a pretty decent distance, even another state. Overall it sounds like you had a successful day.

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