Top 10 Tips:
How you can support good food everyday
1. Learn about “good food” issues and consider the social, environmental and economic impacts of your food decisions. Find out about the impacts of conventional, industrial food systems.
2. Get involved with the Good Food movement in your community. Volunteer at an organization that supports good food issues, join (or create) a community garden, join an advocacy campaign, ask neighborhood stores to carry local or sustainable produce, or encourage your favorite restaurant to offer more healthy menu options or source some of its ingredients from local or urban farms.
4. Shop local. Support your local food economy by shopping at farmers’ markets, CSAs (community supported agriculture), co-ops and independent producers and retailers.
6. Buy produce and animal products that are certified organic, sustainable and/or humanely raised.
7. Grow your own food! Your garden can be as small as a pot of herbs on the window sill, or big enough to transform your yard into an edible landscape.
8. Waste less – Pack waste-free lunches, stop using disposable plates and utensils, and buy food with minimal packaging.
9. Rethink Your Drink. Limit or eliminate sugar-loaded beverages from your diet and instead drink water, unsweetened beverages and low or non-fat milk.
LEARN SOMETHING NEW:
One of the most important things you can do to support good food in Los Angeles is to learn more about the issues, and then spread the word! Here are some suggestions and resources to get you started.
Learn about good food issues and consider the social, environmental and economic impacts of your food decisions.
Learn about our regional food system and the network of people and activities that make it happen.
Find out about the impacts of conventional, industrial food systems.
What is local? Why eat local?
Find out where the food deserts are in Los Angeles and why it is difficult for some people to access healthy food.
Start a food system book club or host a food-themed movie night. Read and request books and films on good food issues at your library.
Consider the issues involved with advertising food to children.
Learn about the people who grow, harvest, transport, sell, and serve your food.
A good food economy won’t happen on its own. Get involved, be political, and help transform the system!
Get involved with the Good Food movement in your community. Volunteer at an organization that supports good food issues, join (or create) a community garden, join an advocacy campaign, ask neighborhood stores to carry local or sustainable produce, or encourage your favorite restaurant to offer more healthy menu options or source some of its ingredients from local or urban farms.
Support Farm Bill reform to ensure that federal subsidies increase the availability and diversity of healthy foods, as opposed to sustaining agribusiness monopolies and factory farms.
Contact your representatives at all levels of government and ask them to support programs and legislation that will bring more good food to your area. During election times, keep good food issues in mind when you vote.
How to find your federal elected official (Los Angeles County)
Get involved with your neighborhood council to promote good food right where you live.
Work to fix socioeconomic inequities in food accessibility and affordability.
The best anti-hunger strategy is a job that pays a living wage. Support policies and businesses that provide a living wage and universal health care.
DO IT YOURSELF
You can’t get more local than your own backyard, kitchen or window sill. Here are some ideas for creating good food at home.
Grow your own food! Your garden can be as small as a pot of herbs on the window sill, or big enough to transform your yard into an edible landscape.
Enjoy a family dinner. Include some local, sustainably-produced ingredients on the menu, make meal preparation a group activity, and then savor the results together.
Learn how to preserve your own food (canning, pickling, drying, fermenting, etc.).
Try making your own yogurt, cheese and butter using locally-sourced milk and cream.
Start a farm of your own.
WHERE TO EAT & SHOP
In L.A. County we’re fortunate to have a year-round growing season, plenty of cultural diversity, nearly 100 farmers markets, and an exciting restaurant scene. Here are some tips for seeking out the good food hot spots in your neighborhood.
Buy your produce from a farmers market and meet the people who grow, pick and transport your food.
Shop locally and eat sustainably. Support your local food economy by shopping at farmers’ markets, co-ops and independent producers and retailers. Dine at restaurants that feature good food.
Join a CSA. Subscriptions to community supported agriculture provide customers with a weekly box of seasonal fruits and vegetables produced by a local farm or farm cooperative.
Visit a nearby pick-your-own farm or orchard.
WHAT TO BUY
Here are some tips for purchasing food that is healthy, sustainable and fairly produced. Remember, foresight is your friend! Planning meals in advance will help to avoid unsustainable food choices.
Purchase seasonal, locally-grown and raised foods. Discover the bounty that Southern California’s farms have to offer!
Buy fruits, vegetables and animal products that are certified organic, sustainable and/or humanely raised.
Use the Environmental Working Group’s Shopper’s Guide to inform your organic food purchases. Conventionally grown fruits and veggies on the Dirty Dozen list should be avoided as they have higher levels of chemical contamination.
Try out Meatless Mondays to reduce your environmental impact and to improve your health. Most meat and animal products take more energy and resources to produce than vegetarian foods, and they also increase your risk for chronic diseas
Purchase locally, humanely, and sustainably raised meat, dairy, and animal products.
Look for products that guarantee workers’ rights and fair prices for farmers. Express your support to retailers so theyÕll be encouraged to stock more fair trade products.
Make ocean-friendly seafood choices. The Seafood Watch Sustainable Seafood Guide tells you which fish to avoid and which ones can be eaten sustainably. If you go fishing locally, be sure to avoid catching contaminated species such as
On a budget? Eating sustainably does not necessarily mean spending more money.
Learn how to read food and nutrition labels to make healthier food choices.
You can help build a stronger community through good food! Here are some ideas to motivate your friends, family, co-workers, faith group, or civic organization to join the good food movement.
Get involved with the many organizations doing terrific work to support good food in the Los Angeles area. Volunteer, intern, donate, join a campaign, sign a petition or attend an event. Check out our Connect database for more informat
Join or create a community garden. If your garden has extra produce, consider donating it to a food bank.
Donate surplus packaged foods, as well as excess fruits and veggies from your garden, to a food bank. Many homes in Los Angeles have backyard fruit trees that produce more than one household can eat.
Talk to your employer, school, faith organization, community groups or favorite restaurants about farm to institution food procurement programs. A direct buying relationship means fresher food for you, and a better income for the farmer.
Convert your local corner store into a healthy corner store.
Start a restaurant club with friends. Explore different neighborhoods and cuisines and check out places that emphasize local, organic and sustainably-produced ingredients.
Spread the message about good food to your friends, family and community! Follow the Los Angeles Food Policy Council on Twitter and Facebook.
The environmental impact of producing, packaging, transporting, storing, consuming and disposing of food is enormous. Food is the largest single source of waste in California, and the average food product travels 1,500 miles to reach our plates. Thus, it is important for everyone to pitch in when it comes to reducing food-related waste.
Americans waste more than 40% of the food we produce for consumption. Minimize the amount of food that is thrown out by your household or business.
Compost leftover kitchen scraps at home or in your municipal green waste bin.
Recycle leftover food packaging properly. Check with your local municipality for recycling guidelines.
Purchase food with minimal packaging made of recycled materials. The zero-waste solution: fill your own reusable bags or containers with food from the bulk bins at your local health food store.
Bring your own durable, reusable shopping bag. Single-use plastic bags and flimsy reusable bags require non-renewable energy and resources to produce, and then they pollute waterways and clog landfills when weÕre done with them.
Pack waste-free lunches. Stop using disposable plates, utensils, napkins and sandwich bags, and bring your own refillable water bottle.
Bring your own reusable containers to restaurants instead of using disposable take-out containers and foam trays.
Find fun and creative ways to reuse disposable food containers before you relegate them to the recycle bin.
Save gas and money. Walk, bike or take public transportation to stores and restaurants. Combine your trips to the grocery store with other errands to reduce car trips, or carpool with a friend.