To me, one aspect of living sustainably means learning to make simple, nutritional foods that would otherwise be highly processed and store-bought. In my head, sustainability and frugality go hand-in-hand and I work diligently to convert my food purchases to homemade options on a regular basis to help on both fronts.
I’ve always asked myself, if I were suddenly stranded on a deserted island, what staple foods or ingredients would I want with me? What would I need to sustain myself, and what is fairly simple to make? How can I gain the skills to create healthful foods in my everyday life, and what knowledge about ingredients do I want? It’s true, I do have an affinity for Doomsday Preppers, but I swear, this is all for the sake of sustainable living!
Another reason making foods from scratch from whole-ingredients is important is simply because the act of buying most things from a traditional grocery store is not very sustainable in itself. From the use of non-renewable resources and the overuse of genetically modified ingredients, anything homemade is going to trump what’s pre-made, prepackaged, and bought through a checkout line.
Sustainable foods are in their most natural state when eaten, or use whole-food ingredients. They do not have a negative impact on the environment, and are not derived from harming animals in any way. One of the best ways to do this is to begin a backyard garden, full of hearty vegetables and fruits that can be picked as needed, in their most healthy state.
One of my favorite sustainable beverages to consume is Kombucha. It is an awesome source of probiotics, which have an incredible amount of health benefits, and have a positive impact on the environment. Making Kombucha is very simple--a culture is purchased, usually from an online seller or local vendor, and is used along with a sweetener to ferment tea into a tangy, fizzy liquid. When your culture, called a SCOBY, enters the end of its days, it can be mixed into a compost pile to help start a new stage of sustainability. Kombucha is also made in glass mason jars, cutting down on any plastic packaging that comes with usual store bought beverages. This creates zero waste from a healthy drink that can be devoured on a regular basis!
Whatever way you choose to be sustainable, remember that it all can start with simply becoming more aware of your food choices and how they impact the environment. Start small, take baby steps, and feel better about making the choice to live a more sustainable life.
Halle is a mommy blogger who shares her experiences as a young, pregnant woman on somedailylove.com.