Eating Healthy & Sustainably Without the Headache

food tips

I like to think that I’m a “conscious consumer,” but I’ll be the first to admit that it can easily be confusing and headache-inducing these days.

As I was doing research to get my own ducks in a line, I realized that it was probably a great idea to share it with you here as well. #goteam!

I know I personally get SO tired of products listing all the things they DON’T include, so my hope is that this will be helpful clarifying what to look for regarding what products DO include.

So without further ado, here you go!

fishFish

Fish is amazing. We’ve all heard how important the Omega amino acids are for us, but we’ve also likely all heard about the high mercury levels in fish (in addition to a ton of other issues).

With regard to eating wild fish (versus farm-raised), one of the top things I’ve gleaned from my research is that pole/troll caught is the BEST sustainable option.

Why? Because fishermen using the pole/troll method literally catch one fish at a time so they don’t accidentally (and unnecessarily) catch/kill other sea life like turtles, dolphins, sharks, etc.

With that said, from what I’ve seen out there, I personally feel that California’s Monterey Bay Aquarium’s “Super Green List” is one of the best ones to consult for “safe” and “green” fish to eat. (By that I mean, the fish that have the lowest mercury levels and the ones that are the most sustainably sourced.)

Some of the top fish they list are:

  • Atlantic Mackerel (purse seine from Canada and the U.S.)
  • Freshwater Coho Salmon (farmed in tank systems, from the U.S.)
  • Pacific Sardines (wild-caught)
  • Salmon (wild-caught, from Alaska)
  • Salmon, Canned (wild-caught, from Alaska)

eggsEggs

The simplest answer here is if you can get eggs from a smaller, local and organic farm, you’re probably golden.

If you look for nothing other than two “catch phrases” on your cartons, look for “Certified Humane Raised and Handled” and “Organic.”

Why these two?

If the eggs are certified humane raised and handled, that means the chickens laying the eggs have enough breathing and living room to act, well, like normal chickens.

Being cage-free, clucking around, nibbling on grasses (probably in addition to their feed), and probably even rolling around in the dust from time to time. In short, they’re “happier” chickens.

Organic is probably a no-brainer for ya, but it also mean that the birds have been eating organic (pesticide/herbicide/fungicide/animal by-product/GMO-FREE) food.

It also means they’re not caged and that the chickens have access to the outdoors. #winwin

grass-its-what-for-dinnerMeats

If you want two key phrases to look for when buying meat, in my humble opinion, they’re “pasture-fed” and “organic.”

Pasture-fed means the animal has been grazed in a pasture, and you’ve probably heard at least one report about the nutritional benefits of grass-fed beef versus grain-fed.

As with eggs, if you can buy your meats locally (particularly from organic farms) that’s always ideal.

At the end of the day, I think the more we make our consumer choices clear with where we put our money, the better off we’ll all be — particularly if we’re choosing humane, sustainable and eco-conscious practices.

Wrapping Up

Remember that while organic and sustainable foods are often more expensive at the outset, think of 1) the money you’re saving on healthcare costs in the long run and 2) how you’re not only taking care of you and yours but mother earth as well. #greenlivingftw

If you have any questions, let me know! Or, if you’ve found great farms in your area or other great ways to make educated choices about your organic and sustainable food, I’d love to hear it!

 

RESOURCES:

Monterey Bay Aquarium “Super Green List”, Seafood Watch Smart Phone App, and Seafood Watch Pocket Guide.

Eatwild’s Directory of US pasture-based farms.

Author: Michelle Whitley

Wife. Mother of 5 Boys. Entrepreneur. Health and Fitness Coach. Lover of living a life of full potential.

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