How Do I Eat Green?
Eat In Season
Generally, produce from the farmers' market is always what's in season. So for the same reasons that shopping local is eco-sound, sticking to your region's growing cycles is, too. For an even bigger impact, skip foods that are out of season when you can, since they are often imported from places as far away as Australia and China. Except in summer, the veggies and fruits in your supermarket that are almost always world flyers (and planes are the worst way for your food to travel, carbon-wise), according to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), are asparagus, bell peppers, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, and cherries.
Something more to keep in mind about imports: "Other countries don't necessarily ban the same chemicals or drugs the U.S. does, or even if they have similar regulations to ours, they aren't necessarily enforced," says Gussow. Not sure what's in season when? Generally, the hardier the plant, like broccoli or brussels sprouts, the less sun it needs and the more likely it is to be harvested in winter and spring. It may also help to think back to your childhood and remember the foods you connect with each season -- pumpkins and squash in the autumn, corn on the cob and strawberries in summer.
If you can't imagine lunch without salad or veggie stir-fry without yellow peppers, at least try to buy domestic. Those hothouse tomatoes from the Netherlands aren't necessarily cheaper or better than the ones grown in hothouses here. "Corporate marketing has only told us they're more special," says Diane Bailey, a scientist at NRDC in San Francisco.
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