Eating sustainably is both good for you and good for the environment, but on a college budget and busy schedule, buying eco friendly foods may seem to cost more time and money than it is worth. So why bother trading in ramen noodles and take out for some less processed options?
Well, not only is the switch must easier and cheaper than you might expect, but by buying foods that are grown sustainably, you are supporting a more ecologically responsible system and decreasing your exposure to harmful additives like pesticides. So, here are some ways to shop locally and eat responsibly.
Browse Farmers’ Markets: Farmers’ Markets offer shoppers fresh and locally grown foods. By buying from these vendors, you can help to support local farmers and family businesses. Luckily, Isla Vista is just one mile away from the closest market, located in Goleta in the Camino Real Market Place. Shop this venue on Sundays from 10am-2pm and on Thursdays from 3-6pm, and instead of driving there, further reduce your ecological footprint by walking or biking.
Go to Co-ops: Food co-ops provide sustainable, local and organic food to buyers and are a great alternative to large grocery stores. The Isla Vista Co-op is a great place to start. Located at 6575 Seville Rd., the IV Co-op has great produce as well as organic packaged foods, perfect for college students.
Shop Smart at Grocery Stores: Stick to produce that is grown locally or regionally and is certified organic. Note that fresher and unprocessed options are likely to be around the periphery of the store. Also, don’t forget about Trader Joe’s. Not only are their prices cheaper in comparison to other grocery stores, but this chain buys direct from suppliers whenever possible and offers items with fewer additives, which is great for your body and your wallet.
Now that you have some tips for shopping sustainably, making the change will be much easier. Eating this way is healthy for your body and healthy for the environment, so what have you got to lose?