What you can do
• Consume as much fresh food as possible, respect the seasons and prioritize locally produced food.
Because it is harvested at the right ripeness, fresh produce is richer in biological components, and it is also tastier. Following these guidelines will help to reduce the consumption of energy linked to the production, storage and transport of delocalized and deseasonalized foods and encourage a multi-functional, local model of agriculture, which can find its economic equilibrium in small family farms. Get to know your local area and find out which vegetables, fruits, animal breeds, breads, cured meats and traditional sweets are produced nearby. And if you find a food at risk of extinction, tell us about it! Knowing about these foods is the first step to saving them.
• Learn about your food and its producers.
Shop at farmers’ markets, join a food-buying group, buy as much as possible directly from farms and producers. And remember that food labels can help you make the best choices. If you learn how to read them, they can be very informative. But because labels are rarely comprehensive, you might have do more: Question the retailer and ask them to find out the information you want. If you know a producer, ask them how they work. Choose products with more detailed labels. Become more conscious of your choices every day.
• Be curious and learn to vary.
Don’t be satisfied by the few varieties of fruit and vegetables in the supermarkets. Seek out traditional local varieties, which have more complex and interesting flavors and fragrances. Why always eat the same two or three varieties of apple when you can find at least ten others in the markets?
• Eat less, and better, and, most of all, eat less meat, of better quality, from farms that care about the welfare of their animals and the quality of their diet.
Choose local breeds and buy lesser-known cuts of meat to help prevent waste.
• Reduce waste and produce less garbage.
Always think, where do all the plastic bottles end up? The excess packaging, the food you bought but didn’t get round to eating and the food you didn’t even buy—the apple with spots, the crooked carrot—because it never made it to the supermarket?
• Cook your food and train your senses.
Cooking is an act of love, for ourselves and others. It is also the best way to rediscover the value of food. Food prepared with our own hands is already better, and if we learn to educate our senses an extraordinary world of discoveries will open up.
• Grow your food.
The next step towards recognizing the value of food… Cultivating a food garden means establishing a close relationship with the land, and having a supply of fresh, healthy, tasty vegetables. All you need is a little patch of earth. Grow the plants best suited to your local area, try to source traditional seeds from local farmers and care for the soil’s fertility.