The eight steps introduce and implement a short list of powerful ideas, from "Eat Local Food" to "Green Your Kitchen." Every piece of advice is backed up by solid research and personal experience. Stories of real people who have committed to the lifestyle offer amusing tales of acquiring new habits and inspiring portraits of people who quietly live with a new awareness. Special sidebars called "Budget Benefits" highlight how following these eight simple steps can actually save you moneyand at the same time help you nourish better and greener attitudes everywhere.
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About the Author
Melissa Breyer is senior editor of Healthy and Green Living and writes about food. She creates new recipes that are posted daily to Care2.com, a natural lifestyles social network and website with 10 million members.
Wendy Gordon founder of National Geographic’s Green Guide, was honored as one of Glamour magazine’s 75 Women Environmental Leaders in 2009. She serves as board chair of Trickle Up, an anti-poverty organization; as vice chair of the Rainforest Alliance; and as trustee of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the Rockefeller Family Fund.
Read an Excerpt
HOW TO EAT LOCAL
The most common sense way of stating this principle is: The shorter the distance that food travels from farm to table, the better. Simply consider the distance between you and your food sources (and we’re not talking supermarkets here—they’re vendors, not sources), and choose the closest producers. Get your eggs from a farm in your town rather than from a farm in the far reaches of your state, and vegetables from farms in your state rather than from farms two states over. If you live on the East Coast, Florida citrus is better than California citrus. If you live in the state of Washington, California is closer than Florida, but Florida is closer than Brazil, and so forth.
Eating locally doesn’t mean doing without. You don't have to give up coffee and tea, for example, which are popular the world over, though grown only in certain regions. But it does mean making choices when possible in favor of those foods produced nearest to where you live. Every time you purchase from the closest farmer, you strengthen the network of growers and businesses seeking to build and maintain a “foodshed” that is diverse, nutritious, sustainable, and secure.
HOW TO BUY LOCAL IN WINTER
Out-of-season produce is an extravagance because it is so energy-intensive to transport it to your kitchen. It’s not just your drive to bring it home from the grocery store—think of all the traveling that produce has done to get to the store from whatever field or orchard it was grown in. But you still want to eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, so in the winter, we should all try to eat frozen, dried, and bisphenol A (BPA)–free canned food, and food stored in local root cellars.
Eating frozen fruit and vegetables, especially from local producers and local root cellars, is your very best option during the winter months. Frozen foods retain much of their nutritional content, in addition to cutting energy costs in transportation. It takes much less energy to keep food frozen than it takes to ship food hundreds, even thousands, of miles and keep it fresh along the way. Dried and canned foods can also be nutritious options.