Dietary Restrictions and Sustainable Food?

Since beginning this course in sustainable food, I have found myself being much more conscientious of what I am picking up whilst grocery shopping. Thus far, I have noticed that eating sustainably is a challenge. In a world that has become so globalized, where almost anything we want is within our reach, choosing to eat in season fruits and vegetables and local products instead of something that we may be craving is quite difficult. Something that I previously gave no thought in terms of eating sustainably was the problem of dietary restrictions. I planned a dinner for a friend who is both gluten free and lactose intolerant, and shopping sustainably for a meal posed to be a challenge. In particular, I needed butter for the meal and the only other option was to pick up vegan butter. I ultimately went with Earth Balance’s organic buttery spread that is GMO free, vegan, gluten free, lactose free, and overall a good alternative for butter. However, as we have seen in class sustainability also must take into account the processing of foods as well as the shipping of foods all around the world. Is choosing a more processed product that is created closer in proximity to the sale location better than choosing a less processed product that may have been produced farther away? I think it’s quite interesting to see how such dietary restrictions could impact the ability to eat sustainably, at least in terms of eating local and organic foods versus processed ones.

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