Now, more than ever, the conversation of adopting a ‘land to plate’ lifestyle is present in the world of wellness. It is something we are passionate about at Manukora. However, information overload and the pressures of ‘what to do’ and ‘what not to’, can be a major deterrent for people looking to adopt new habits.
As the conversation continues to heat up around climate change, our food choices seem to be centre stage to how we contribute on a ‘day to day’ level. Starting small and sticking to our intentions is the pathway to success. However, these phrases feel commonly heard, and don’t necessarily remove the weight of adopting change. How do we stay motivated? We’ve collated some tips and tricks, busted some myths and highlighted the advantages, to help you in your journey. So, what should we look for and why?
Traceability and transparency of product origin is a top priority at Manukora. All of our products have a QR code that customers can scan to see the origin of their honey, from hive to hand. This value applies to wider consumer food choices, too. Transparency of production and origin can help us understand if it hasn't been genetically modified (non-GMO) and is free from herbicides and pesticides.
When considering fresh produce, your best bet is to buy organic. We all know this can be considerably more expensive however, so if this isn’t possible it is worth looking up two lists that are called ‘The Dirty Dozen’ and ‘The Clean Fifteen’. These are suggestions if you consider buying organic items or not. These lists have been comprised by the American activist group, the Environmental Working Group, who specialise in guidelines on Pesticides in Produce™. These lists are updated for 2020. For canned and packaged items, for example for a tin of chickpeas, the only sure way to know if they are free from herbicides or pesticides is if you buy certified organic brands, as they will likely state this as part of the product’s selling point. It is a good idea to research the regulations in your state or country as these differ considerably.
Supporting (natural or speciality) stores
Seeking out a store in your local area is a good option to ensure you are supporting responsible producers who are transparent about the contents of their products. Finding out who these producers are, is both reassuring and satisfying when you are adopting a land to plate lifestyle. These ‘feel good’ consumer choices benefit everyone involved in the product’s journey. Large corporations and supermarket chains tend not to fairly support producers and are ideally avoided where possible.
Shopping and Eating Out: Tips and tricks
Adopting a ‘land to plate’ lifestyle can be a minefield. Here are some tips and tricks to help you with your choices.
Food and produce shopping:
1. Buy Organic (where you can)
Reference the Dirty Dozen and the Clean Fifteen
2. Check the labels
Look for certifications such as the non-GMO Butterfly logo and the USDA (US) Organic stamp research labels relevant to your location.
3. Note the producer (even the farmer)
This will allow you to conduct your own research on the brand
4. Shop at smaller stores
These will likely support responsible producers and provide better consumer options
Look out for plant-based menus
Often (not always), these menus support responsible producers
Look for producers’ names/farms on menus
Restaurants who are proud of where they source their products from, often outline the producer's company name or the farm
Don’t be afraid to ask your waiter for clarity, they should be proud to elaborate on their menus or products!
Encourage your friends and family (overtime)
Chip away at encouraging your friends and family to choose responsible establishments when you go to eat out together. Try to avoid information overload that might deter them.
A large vegetable garden isn’t possible for many of us, nor does it feel achievable to include in our busy lives even if we do have space. It is however rewarding to pluck a few herbs from one or two indoor pots. Look at buying a few seedlings from your local grocer. Basil in a sunny window grows well, as does oregano. Italian parsley and thyme do not require much attention, so opt for these, to begin with. Planting our own herbs is a great way to reduce our food miles and eliminate unnecessary packaging.
From nature is best
It’s not impossible to live a ‘land to plate’ lifestyle, in any way. Eating and living with an approach of, ‘from nature is best’, is a rewarding journey. Choosing products that align with this will help you to avoid processed foods that typically have preservatives to increase their shelf life. The effects of wiser choices help to restore balance in our lives, nurturing both our physical and mental wellbeing.