Your Health & the Earth’s: Grocery Shopping with an Eye on the Environmental Impact

The trouble with many weight loss programs  is that they seem to require us to alter our eating habits so completely that many people think it’s too expensive or too much trouble to even try it. However, it is possible to enjoy healthy food on any budget. And, the fact is that, the more you focus on purchasing local, unprocessed food, the healthier it is and the more money you will save. In addition, the more attention you pay to what you buy and where it comes from, the lower your impact on the environment will be…and that is something that should never be too much trouble for anyone.

Always purchase the healthiest food possible.  That seems simple enough but not everyone realizes
how important it is to think about the quality and purity of the food you purchase. How foods are grown or raised has an impact on their quality and also on your health. Organically grown food reduces the potential health and environmental hazards posed by pesticides, irradiation and additives. And, although these items are sometimes more expensive than their non-organic counterparts, an investment in your food now could save you money on health bills later.  Most weight loss programs emphasize the importance of reducing the chemicals and additives in your diet so making a concerted effort to eat as many natural and organic foods as possible will contribute significantly to your overall health and to the success of your weight loss efforts.

Also, you should buy the highest quality possible for the foods you eat the most. This way you can dramatically reduce your exposure to things such as pesticides, herbicides, and antibiotics, while increasing the nutritional value of your food. Organic foods have higher levels of antioxidants and various vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, and iron. Also, whenever possible, focus on purchasing organic, grass-fed and/or free-range sources of meat & dairy, because of the possible higher concentration of antibiotics and hormones that could be passed on to you from non-organic sources.  Supporting organic farming also reduces your impact on the environment because you are supporting food sources that are not introducing harmful substances into the soil or water supply.

In addition to thinking about the environmental practices of your food sources, it is also important to think about the environmental impact of the products we buy. Consider this: the average American throws out their weight in packaging every 30 to 40 days and one out of every $10 spent at the grocery store pays for packaging.  So, perhaps when we shop for our healthy groceries, we should also take a moment to ask ourselves, “Is there an equally healthy yet more environmentally friendly alternative?”  If we all take that moment to consider the effect of our groceries on the environment as well as on our bodies, we will all probably make healthier and more environmentally friendly choices which, in the end, will make our planet healthier!

Thanks much to the Lindora Team for this guest post.

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