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ethical eating: some tips and ideas
What Is Ethical Eating/Ethical Consumption?
Ethical consumption makes connections between the products (like food), where it was made or sourced from, and how it was created. Ethical eating is the same, including the treatment of animals that are eaten. Food ethics is a developing field that hopes to provide guidelines for humans in producing food. Everything from what the animal is fed to how it is used to how it ends up on your plate is part of this ethical food cycle.
Ethical eating does not mean you have to go vegan. There are other ways.
So how can you seek out the food with the least environmental impact? What can you do to help the world heal?
1 - Select Free Range, Organic Meats
Free-range implies that the animals are not crushed together in confined spaces. Rather, they roam in open pastures. Farmers like the ones at sevensons.net have committed to raising free-range animals. Most organic and free-range products tend to be GMO-free, as well, so the food is more natural.
One can argue that eating meat at all goes against ethical consumption. However, there are ways to do so without harming the world. That lies in changing the agriculture industry as a whole, which one person cannot do alone. Starting small, with free-range foods, is a great place to begin.
2 - Look for Fair Trade Products
Many ethically produced foods have a label that says "Fairtrade." Fairtrade products are sourced from places where the farmers and workers are paid a fair wage. Slave labor or child labor is not part of the equation, as is sometimes the case. A fair trade product means that the producer was paid a fair price for the product. Ethical eating is about saving the planet and that includes the people living on it.
3 - Seek Sustainable Fish
The most popular types of fish - tuna, salmon, cod, etc - are all in grave danger from overfishing. Salmon farming is particularly tricky, as it sounds like a more suitable idea than wild-caught. However, the best thing you can do is seek out sustainably caught fish.
Most fisheries will label their product as such. You also can ask local fishmongers and fisherman for advice. Also, try lesser-known fish, like pollock, to help offset the damages of overfishing.
4 - Drink Tap Water
Instead of endlessly buying and wasting plastic water bottles, drink tap water. You can easily buy a filter for your faucet, or one of the pitchers with a built-in filter. Then, buy yourself a metal water bottle, or one made of recycled materials, and fill it up a few times a day. Recycling plastic can only help so much, so reducing plastic use is a great place to start.
5 - Watch Food Waste
We don't understand how much food we toss out until we pay attention. Try to use up every bit of food you buy. This also means paying attention to expiration dates. It helps if you keep processed foods to a minimum. Cooking from scratch will encourage you to use everything you have.
Research is the most important part of ethical consumption. Know where your food comes from and try to be as least wasteful as possible. If you pay attention to your actions, your small positive impact will only grow.