Sustainable food involves a comprehensive practice of how food is raised, harvested, packaged and supports local communities. It comes from crops and animals raised using sustainable agriculture practices that protect the environment and the planet, replenish and conserve natural resources, provide healthy high quality food that does not use processing methods, support humane methods of raising animals used for food sources and support local community economies. Some of the ways we can all support sustainable food include buying products with minimal packaging to reduce waste, eating less animal products and more veggies, fruits and grains that are locally produced, and supporting products that are imported from other countries that carry a Fair Trade certification. Eating a diet of mainly fruit and vegetables has been shown in numerous studies to have a positive effect on blood pressure, increase life expectancy, be heart healthy and reduce risks of Type II diabetes and obesity. A reduction in the demand for meat also increases the availability of usable space to humanely treat animals as well as reduces the need for feeding these animals with grains rather than grass and the use of antibiotics and hormones that reduce the quality of our food.
AFA Alage: The Earth's First Sustainable Food
AFA (Aphanizomenon Flos-Aquae) bluegreen algae from Klamath Lake in Oregon is one of Earth's first foods, the first oxygen producing organism that is responsible for 90% of the photosynthesis on this planet and a perfect source of sustainable food. Algae has been used as a plant based supplement to the human diet for thousands of years and this AFA bluegreen algae in particular provides a balanced source of protein, all 20 amino acids, essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, trace elements, antioxidants, fiber, carbohydrates and complex sugars. Unlike other vitamin and supplement sources, algae being a single cell is 98% absorbable. This nutrient rich algae regenerates itself quickly, grows in a unique, healthy ecosystem, is harvested by a company using a sustainable, ecologically sensitive harvest technique with minimal environmental impact and that offers a business plan that provides a strong and sustainable opportunity by creating a solid, reliable income stream. Any way you look at it, AFA bluegreen algae from Klamath Lake fits the sustainable food and sustainable living model.
As an example of how powerful a superfood AFA bluegreen algae is, consider a study done with malnourished children in Nicaragua. This study reported children given 1 gram of an AFA supplement every day for six months greatly improved in all areas (physical appearance, nutritional status, school attendance, behavior and academic performance), while the control group children's conditions became worse.
Other Sustainable Food Sources
Sustainable food sources can be found in just about any area. Granted those living in more rural areas may have an easier time finding local farmers or being able to have a home garden, but there are ways to engage in sustainable food practices no matter where you live. CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) programs, farmer's markets, small organic grocery stores that buy from local farmers, shared community gardens and finding a space for growing patio gardens in pots or hanging baskets are all sources for sustainable food. There are also innovative businesses being formed all around the country that support sustainable food practices. For example, in Brooklyn, New York local grocers and restaurants can get produce year round that is free from pesticides from Gotham Greens' rooftop greenhouse. Other companies are concentrating on eliminating packaging by allowing customers to bring their own containers or provide pick your own fruits and vegetables. To see some of the companies engaging in these type of businesses check out this website.
Our future and the future of the planet depends on adopting sustainable agriculture practices. No matter where you live or what type of community you live in, you can start contributing in some way to supporting or producing sustainable food. Pick one or more of the practices we have explored in this article and make the commitment to increase your health and save the planet in whatever way you can.
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