Challenge 2. Use local produce
Think local in order to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Using local produce makes sense both for your wallet and for the environment, and it contributes towards many of the SDGs.
As the holiday season approaches, here are some tips to help you cook local:
- Go to farmers’ markets: this way, you can help support local producers, the local economy and encourage local employment. Plus, you can try products you might not find in supermarkets!
- Check product origin: nowadays, food is often transported halfway across the world so it can be available on supermarket shelves year-round. But local, seasonal products tend to be cheaper, fresher, with less additives or preservatives and choosing them is another way of helping support the local economy.
- Plan seasonal menus: find out what is in season and plan menus around this. This will ensure variety in your diet throughout the year and mean that you use fresh, tasteful produce. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, eating invasive, non-native species of plants and animals can be the source of unique recipes while helping to balance local ecosystems.
- Turn your backyard, windowsill or rooftop into a kitchen garden: no matter how little space you have, there are plenty of things you can grow yourself cheaply and easily. Herbs such as parsley, mint or basil require very little space to grow and can really help transform your dishes.
- Use less processed food: buy better quality, fresh food and then use it more efficiently, reducing food waste by saving leftovers and planning meals ahead of time. This saves money while supporting a more efficient use of resources.
Clearly, not all products can be purchased locally and there are ways of sourcing ingredients from faraway places while still having a positive impact, such as helping vulnerable farmers and producers earn a decent living. If that interests you, look out for future challenges on fair trade and responsible consumption!