To be or not to be ethically correct
Two blog posts ago I discussed my commitment to be more Ethically aware when it comes to my fashion buying habits, (The Sustainable Fashion Handbook is on it’s way to my mailbox as we speak), but you’ll soon realize that being Ethical doesn’t just stop at the clothes you put on your back, it has the potential to affect the way you live your life period, from the food you eat to the products you use on your skin; it’s inescapable and that is just your body.
“ Understanding nature, how we relate to it and understanding our bodies better is key in making progress in terms of sustainability”
HUSSEIN CHALAYAN – FASHION DESIGNER
Not that I was unaware of the fair-trade movement in food and cosmetic companies like The Body Shop’s efforts against animal testing. When you dig a little deeper, it suddenly hits you how important it all is and how much more work needs to be done. Yep, it’s not easy being an eco warrior princess.
This week my focus is going to be on the way I buy and consume food.
Good food, Good health!
Eating ethically or buying ethical produce doesn’t have to be complicated. It is possible to be organic and eco friendly without spending a fortune at Whole Foods. I’m a balanced buyer/eater; I prefer buying locally to buying from the supermarket as it is generally better for your local economy. It’s cheaper plus the quality of the produce is often better but I can’t always get to the market or I sometimes can’t be bothered, simply because when you are bombarded by the choice of supermarkets (Tesco is the Godzilla of supermarkets) sometimes it’s easy to just give in to their luring power.
Cheap prices usually means cheaply produced, which in turns means some poor animal has had a distressed life before landing in my shopping basket.
So to combat the corporate devils on their own turf, I try to buy fair-trade which tips the balance in favour of locally sourced produce. This affects trading practices in countries in which unruly trade and work laws are bypassed to work directly with traders, who are unfairly treated by corporate giants. Sound familiar? You’ll find that it is very similar to the way the fashion world operates abroad, this is why brands like Kitty Ferreira work hard to change these foul practices and raise the standards by sourcing and manufacturing exclusively in the UK.
I also buy free range which helps diminish the use of battery poultry and meat farming. Trust me, once you’ve seen the way these poor creatures are treated you wouldn’t think twice about buying free range eggs again… well, I didn’t anyway.
When I cook I tend to prepare what I’m going to need to eat for that particular meal as oppose to over cooking and eating bigger portions. I find it’s better for my waistline, my pocket and the environment. The only food I cook to keep over a period of time is stew, the way my mama taught me. In Nigeria we like to cook food such as stews in bulk, which can be eaten with a variety of meals, so nothing goes to waste.
In some smaller parts of Africa where refrigeration is not an option, indigenous folk cook meat as soon as it is captured fresh after a hunting session, which means that everybody is fed that day and nothing is wasted; a saving practice which we in this over consuming metropolis have forgotten to follow- the practice of eating and cooking what you need, not hunting in the wild if you know what I mean….We throw away 7 million tonnes of food each year in the UK, a sobering fact!
I have admittedly, always been more eco friendly with food than with anything else and I found it difficult to understand when people complain about food prices when they can buy so cheaply in the local market. I mean, £1 for ten apples- you’d have to pay five times more in the supermarket for that! Let’s get real here. Maybe it’s a lack of education or maybe it’s convenience, I don’t know.
What I do know is that I am much more aware of what I choose to put in my body and where I buy it, so much so that I have recently introduced juicing into my diet, which is the best thing I could have done for me. Juicing is a completely natural alternative to the pasteurised ones they sell you in the supermarket. Natural juices are great for moments when you feel sluggish, when you need an energy boost or as a supplement to a good lean meal. If you’re going to do it, buy a good juicer. The cheap ones will let you down eventually. Highly recommended!
Some people choose to cleanse or detox by juicing which is a practice I’m not keen on nor recommend if you are trying to loose weight, as you are likely to put it back on when you start eating again. I would speak to a specialist first before embarking on one of those craze diets.
The last thing to do is limiting how much processed food I buy. The packaging we end up throwing away impacts gravely on the environment, so wherever you can buy without packaging. I do, it’s hard but it’s possible.
Eating ethically impacts positively on people, animals and our environment, not to mention, your purse if done correctly. We have a long way to go to change the world but I guess the fight starts from within ourselves.
Tags: Africa, cleanse, cook, detox, diet, eco+friendly, Eco+Warrior, Environment, Ethical, ethically, fairtrade, Food, free+range, Godzilla, HUSSEIN+CHALAYAN, juicing, Lily+Cole, market, Nigeria, organic, right, supermarket, Sustainable, Tesco, The+Body+Shop, Whole+Foods