Sustainable Eating in Missoula – Your Local Guide to Fresh and Affordable Meals

As climate change and its effects become more apparent, many people have adopted ways to help protect the planet. Nevertheless, an aspect that might have escaped your attention is the impact of your dietary choices on the surrounding ecosystem. Eco-friendly eating has been progressively garnering attention in recent times, with its evident advantages for personal well-being and environmental preservation. 

This dietary approach entails selecting food items based on their production’s influence on soil quality, greenhouse gas emissions, fossil fuel utilization, and water usage. When you choose to embrace sustainable dietary practices, you dedicate yourself to selecting foods cultivated through farming methods that exert minimal harm on the environment. 

Here are some suggestions on how to adopt eco-conscious eating habits in Missoula.

1. Buy Local and in Season

Emissions from food transportation only account for a small portion of the carbon footprint from food production. It is therefore possible to eat sustainably without having to visit the local farmer’s market. The most significant exception is with foods like vegetables and fresh berries with a short shelf life which have to be delivered by air. 

Foods grown in season are more sustainable since they need less energy and water than foods grown in artificial controlled environments. Eating seasonally also allows you to benefit from a more varied diet since you have a wide range of fruits and vegetables to choose from. Missoulans can find an assortment of in season foods at HelloFresh to gain access to fresh food. It is also a great way to boost the local economy.

2. Eat More Plant-Based Meals

Plant based diets tend to be more sustainable than diets rich in processed sugars and animal protein. However, this does not necessarily mean that you become a vegan. You can easily enjoy meats and animal proteins by sticking to sustainable harvested seafood and beef and dairy products in small amounts. A diet consisting mostly of vegetables, legumes, fruits, and nuts with a high nutritional content can help lower your risk of cancer and heart disease.

3. Choose Seafood Wisely

A huge population of seafood is either overfished or maximally sustainably fished. Aquaculture also has its own issues and challenges. However, when produced responsibly and sustainably, seafood can be of huge benefit to people and the environment. Consider a diversity of species from well managed sources. It may also be wise to eat lower in the food chain and opt for lower carbon emission seafood.

4. Reduce Food Waste

Per information from the FDA, approximately 30% to 40% of the total food output in the United States is discarded. Given this, it is accurate to assert that all the invested resources in producing this food have also been squandered. Mitigating food waste becomes an integral facet of eco-conscious eating. 

One can curtail wastage by repurposing vegetable scraps and bones to craft a soup stock or broth, preserving it for future use. Additionally, minimizing purchases during each store visit aids in waste reduction. Discerning between “sell by” and “use by” dates is essential to avoid discarding consumable food.

5. Prioritize Sustainable Packaging

Plastic has found its way into most aspects of our lives, and even diets. Wherever you go shopping, be sure to bring a reusable bag. Choose packaging free fruits and vegetables when possible. Styrofoam meat trays covered in plastic wrap are also a part of unsustainable eating. It is made using fossil fuels and cannot be composted or reused. 

This contributes to environmental degradation and climate change. Sustainable food packaging can be made microbial biodegradable polymers can help foods stay fresh and safe until consumed.

6. Advance Meal Prep

Advance meal prep can be helpful for the days when you come home after a long day and the last thing you want to do is cook. Slow cookers and multi cookers can help save time and ensure you don’t waste food. You may also consider having a specific day when you cook enough food for the week and freezing meals for later consumption. You can easily mistake this for efficiency and not sustainability but remember, throwing away food is a huge waste of resources.

Sustainable eating is important now more than ever considering the advance of climate change. Everybody needs to contribute meaningfully to the reduction of carbon emissions and the environmental effect of food production. Whether you resort to sustainable eating to improve your health or benefit the environment, you are contributing to a more positive future for the planet.