Quantcast
Food
FoodPrint helps identify local and seasonal produce with its Seasonal Food Guide. FoodPrint / Facebook

Find Out Your 'Foodprint': New Website Helps You Shop, Cook and Eat More Sustainably

Two days after World Food Day, an innovative nonprofit has launched a website to help you reduce the environmental impact of the food you eat.

FoodPrint, designed by GRACE Communications Foundation, was created to educate consumers about everything that goes into common food items, from farm to fridge, so that they can make sustainable choices.


"Your 'foodprint' is the result of all of everything it takes to get your food from the farm to your plate. Many of those processes are invisible to consumers," the website explains.

FoodPrint youtu.be

GRACE Communications Foundation is all about spreading awareness about the environmental and public health impacts of the industrial food system in order to promote more sustainable alternatives, and its latest venture offers all sorts of tips for food lovers looking for greener diets.

Here are some of the highlights of how you can shrink your foodprint at all stages of the meal prep process.

Shopping

  1. Look for Good Labels: The site offers guides by food type for which labels guarantee certain standards, which are less stringent and which are just marketing ploys. For produce, for example, USDA Organic and Demeter Certified Biodynamic are the best bets, while terms like "natural" or "pesticide free" are basically meaningless.
  2. Choose Low-Impact Foods: The Real Food Encyclopedia assesses the sustainability of more than 200 common foods, and also offers facts and cooking tips. In the U.S., wild rice is grown with water intensive methods in California, which is suffering from increasing drought. Barley, meanwhile, uses a relatively small amount of water and helps prevent erosion and weed growth.
  3. Eat Seasonably: The Seasonal Food Guide uses data from the Natural Resources Defense Council, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and state agricultural offices to offer the most comprehensive guide to what is in season in all 50 states.

Cooking

  1. Plan Ahead: The post "15 Easy Ways to Reduce Food Waste" offers helpful tips for planning meals to avoid throwing things away, from creating a menu based around ingredients you already have to making sure you don't buy more than you can use.
  2. Use All of the Foods You Buy: The post "Cook Like a Chef to Reduce Food Waste" explains how cooks around the world have crafted recipes to use all of an ingredient, even when it's less than fresh. A tough rooster can be the base for a succulent coq au vin, broccoli leaves are delicious and stale bread can be turned into breadcrumbs.
  3. Reduce Storage and Packaging Waste: From plastic shopping bags to disposable storage containers to paper napkins, there are a lot of non-food items that can get wasted in the kitchen. "Keeping Kitchen Waste to a Minimum" offers solutions like reusing plastic packaging containers as storage, washing and reusing free bags and heading to flea markets for cheap cloth napkins.

Dining Out

  1. Support Sustainable Restaurants: Guides like Certified Green Restaurants or Zero FoodPrint can help you find restaurants that have committed to using sustainable food, reduced packaging and less water, among other concerns. The Restaurant Opportunities Center's National Diner's Guide can help you find places that have committed to paying their staff a living wage.
  2. Check the Menu: If a restaurant isn't certified, you can check the menu to see if it offers local, seasonal produce or is trying to serve asparagus in January in the Midwest.
  3. Reduce Waste: If you are eating in or getting takeout, you can reduce food and packaging waste by sharing menu items, taking leftovers home and bringing your own reusable straws or drink containers.

Show Comments ()

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Sponsored
Champurrado (Mexican hot chocolate) is a beloved holiday favorite. PETA

8 Festive Vegan Drinks to Keep You Cozy This Winter

By Zachary Toliver

Looking for warm vegan holiday drinks to help you deal with the short days and cold weather? This time of year, we could all use a steamy cup of cheer during the holiday chaos. Have a festive, cozy winter with these delicious options. (Note that you must be 21 to enjoy some of the recipes.)

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
Pexels

For a Happier, Healthier World, Live Modestly

By Marlene Cimons

Gibran Vita makes every effort to get rid of the dispensable. He lives in a small home and wears extra layers indoors to cut his heating bills. He eats and drinks in moderation. He spends his leisure time in "contemplation," volunteering or working on art projects. "I like to think more like a gatherer, that is, 'what do I have?' instead of 'what do I want?'" he said.

Keep reading... Show less
Climate
An underwater marker in front of Cortada's studio helps predict how many feet of water needs to rise before the area becomes submerged. Xavier Cortada

As Miami Battles Sea-Level Rise, This Artist Makes Waves With His 'Underwater Homeowners Association'

By Patrick Rogers

Miami artist Xavier Cortada lives in a house that stands at six feet above sea level. The Episcopal church down the road is 11 feet above the waterline, and the home of his neighbor, a dentist, has an elevation of 13 feet. If what climate scientists predict about rising sea levels comes true, the Atlantic Ocean could rise two to three feet by the time Cortada pays off his 30-year mortgage. As the polar ice caps melt, the sea is inching ever closer to the land he hopes one day to pass on to the next generation, in the city he has called home since the age of three.

Keep reading... Show less
Food
GMVozd / E+ / Getty Images

How to Ferment Vegetables in Three Easy Steps

By Brian Barth

A mason jar packed with cultured or fermented vegetables at your local urban provisions shop will likely set you back $10 to $15. Given that the time and materials involved are no more than five minutes and $2, respectively, one imagines that the makers of cultured vegetables have spent eight years training with fermentation masters in some stone-age village, or that they've mortgaged their house to pay for high-end fermenting equipment to ensure that the dilly beans come out tasting properly pickled.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Popular
Orangutan in Sumatra. Tbachner / Wikimedia Commons

Norway to Ban Deforestation-Linked Palm Oil Biofuels in Historic Vote

The Norwegian parliament voted this week to make Norway the world's first country to bar its biofuel industry from importing deforestation-linked palm oil starting in 2020, The Independent reported.

Environmentalists celebrated the move as a victory for rainforests, the climate and endangered species such as orangutans that have lost their habitats due to palm oil production in Indonesia and Malaysia. It also sets a major precedent for other nations.

Keep reading... Show less
Oceans
Australia's Great Barrier Reef. Steve Parish/ Lock the Gate Alliance / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Scientists Discover 'Most Diverse Coral Site' on Great Barrier Reef

Australian scientists have found the "most diverse coral site" on the Great Barrier Reef, observing at least 195 different species of corals in space no longer than 500 meters, The Guardian reported.

The non-profit organization Great Barrier Reef Legacy and marine scientist Charlie Veron, a world expert on coral reefs, confirmed the diversity of the site, also known as the "Legacy Super Site" on the outer reef.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Renewable Energy
Buses head out at the Denver Public Schools Hilltop Terminal Nov. 10, 2017. Andy Cross / The Denver Post via Getty Images

Why Aren't School Buses Electric? These Coloradans Are Sick of Diesel

By Corey Binns

Before her two kids returned to school at the end of last summer, Lorena Osorio stood before the Westminster, Colorado, school board and gave heartfelt testimony about raising her asthmatic son, now a student at the local high school. "My son was only three years old when he first suffered from asthma," she said. Like most kids, he rode a diesel school bus. Some afternoons he arrived home struggling to breathe.

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
jessicahyde / iStock / Getty Images

Hemp May Soon Be Federally Legal, But Many Will Be Barred From Growing It

By Dan Nosowitz

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell has, perhaps unexpectedly to those who find themselves agreeing with only this one position of his, been a major force for legalizing industrial hemp. Industrial hemp differs from marijuana in that it's bred specifically to have extremely low concentrations of THC, the primary psychoactive chemical in marijuana; smoke industrial hemp all you want, it'll just give you sore lungs.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored

mail-copy

The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!