There are various ways to approach food ethics and numerous reasons for making ethical food choices. Most people choose for moral reasons, while others do it for their health benefits. No matter your food choice, ethical eating means knowing your food and finding out its impact on the planet. You need to consider the impact it has on people, animals, and the environment. Here are several ways you can walk the path of making ethical food choices.
Shop at Farmers’ Markets
The best way to make good food choices are by buying from the local farmers in your area. The farms usually sell the products via your local grocery or directly from the farms themselves.
You will find most of the food items produced in your area in one convenient spot. Most of these products are usually made in small batches using ethical and sustainable practices by people who belong to their community.
Buy Organic Products
Whether it’s meat, dairy, or produce, the most ethical food choices come from organic options. Organic meat and dairy products come from free-range animals, which feed on a natural diet. This is unlike the popular practice where they use hormone injections to raise animals. Most organic products are cleaner, grown using sustainable farming techniques, and use natural pesticides instead of artificial pesticides.
However, buying organic may not be as simple as it sounds. Most food companies get away with unethical practices. So, you need to do your research to determine whether the products you are buying are organic in the true sense of the term.
Opt For Fair Trade Foods
Issues involving workers’ rights exist throughout the global agricultural industry. Foods such as oranges, strawberries, chocolate, and coffee, are usually picked by enslaved workers.
One needs to purchase food with fair trade labels to ensure the workers’ have good working conditions, it empowers the farmers, supports the responsible companies, and helps protect the environment. Look for stamps such as Fair Trade Certified and Fairtrade International labels when you go grocery shopping.
Buy Free-Range, Grass-Fed, Meat, and Dairy
The truth is as grim as it sounds, animals are treated horribly around the different world’s factory farms and other agricultural venues. While there may be other ways of stopping unethical operations, you as a buyer must ensure to do your utmost to stop these practices.
Instead, you can purchase food made by farms that allow the animals to roam around free, eat naturally, and eliminate biological manipulation. You can look for free-range eggs and grass-fed dairy and meat items that can help you make ethical choices while supporting good farming practices. The ethical food you buy will also be of greater quality, which will promise greater taste and nutrition.
Procure Sustainable Seafood
Fishing for most seafood involves unsustainable ways or illegal operations. More and more sea fish are becoming endangered because of overfishing. The fishing methods are also detrimental and cruel to marine life. Besides that, it also harbors an unsafe working environment for the employees.
Always look for seafood approved by the Marine Conservation Society, or buy from local fisheries who practice fishing methods that are safe, sustainable, and legal. This will help protect the ocean and protect the species from undergoing any kind of harm.
Appearance is Not Everything
While choosing food products, many look for the perfect product at the grocery store, meaning they go by looks. However, an odd shape or some nicks and bruises does not mean the food tastes or lacks in any way in the nutrition department.
It also holds for the appearance of the boxes, read dented boxes and cartons. However, most of the not-so-good-looking food items end up in the trash and contribute to food waste. And just because a person mishandles a food habit carelessly does not mean the food is bad or unfit to consume.
Stay Away From Genetically Modified Foods
GMOs and nano foods have been in disfavor for years now, not without good reason. Genetic modification of foods can reduce biodiversity and negatively impact the environment. It even harms your health in myriad ways.
More and more countries are banning genetically modified crops. However, a significant portion of the agricultural industry continues cultivating this type of unnatural food.
Read food labels and find the truth of the food you choose. Whether it is avoiding GMO foods or choosing ethically-sourced seafood or meat, you need to ensure you choose the right food to choose a sustainable path towards your health and the environment’s health.