I do my best to ethically source my food. I’m not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s something I’m passionate about and keep working on. For me it’s a great way to make a difference on a daily basis, but once you’ve taken the leap and built it into your routine it’s not a difficult thing to keep doing.
Why do I ethically source my food?
I eat at least 3 meals a day, every day. I spend a lot of money every month on food. If I want to bring a more ethical approach to my lifestyle, I can vote with my money and support the suppliers that I believe in. I feel good eating the food, and I feel good supporting people with the same ethical values to run their businesses successfully. What’s not to like.
If you’re interested but not sure where to start, here are some tips.
How to ethically source your food
1. Don’t panic or get overwhelmed. People have a tendency to freak out when they are trying to make changes in their lives, self-flagellate if they fall off the wagon and often give up before they’ve started because they think things have to be black and white. Things do not have to be black and white. I just do the best I can every day. If I fall off the wagon and buy a quick lunch from a less than reputable fast food chain, I forgive myself, and get back on the wagon. Every little helps, so begin where you are. This is a lifestyle, not a quick fix.
2. Go for a convenience and ethics combo. I personally don’t have a lifestyle which allows me the time to go to a local organic farmer’s market every week and buy my food directly from the people who make it. I would love to be able to do that, but realistically if I committed myself to doing that I would probably make it for a couple of weeks and then something would come up which would mean I couldn’t get to the market one day and then I’d be back to square one feeling like a failure. Find something that fits in with your lifestyle, as you’re much more likely to stick to it. I personally have my weekly shopping delivered by Abel & Cole because their values and approach to sourcing my food fits my own: responsible, sustainable, and fairly traded. The food comes in reusable boxes to my door every Friday – and I don’t even have to be there to receive it. Perfect. I know that any products I choose from Abel & Cole will have been considered against their principles and values, and that makes the shopping experience quick and guilt-free for me.
3. Educate yourself. I am subscribed to Ethical Consumer which I use regularly to identify good brands to purchase from. Having done this research means I can actually walk into a high street chain supermarket and select their most ethical products if I need to get something quickly rather than wait for my Abel & Cole delivery – knowing that I’ve done the best I could do with what I had. I try not to do this very often, but at least Im equipped when it happens.
4. Locate your nearest health food shop & make it fun. Health food shops are likely to stock ethical brands, so once you’ve done your research you may find your local health food shop as a good one stop shop. I try to make this a relaxing Saturday morning activity and stop for a coffee and lunch afterwards.
5. Realise it’s a continuous process & enjoy it. It doesn’t happen overnight, & it takes time. Things also change, new brands emerge & old ones change. Just take small steps, & if you lose your way come back to this article or an inspirational read on ethical sourcing & keep up!
With Love & Light,