https://www.glwd.org/blog/national-nutrition-month-sustainability/

3.6.24
/ Nutrition

National Nutrition Month: Sustainability

March is National Nutrition Month and the theme this year is “Beyond the Plate.” This includes consideration for how the foods we eat impact the environment and ourselves.

New York City has a rich food presence with a wide variety of cuisines from all over the world. Chefs and food purveyors are responsible for sourcing their ingredients and foods to make the best food possible, and they all must make choices based on price, quality and, increasingly, availability of local varieties. The same decisions are made by the rest of us when we choose foods and ingredients for at home cooking and when preparing day-to-day meals and snacks for ourselves and our families. There are some simple strategies that we can all implement.

Shop Local Ingredients The average American meal travels 1500 miles to get to your plate. For the average household, that’s 100,000 food miles per family per week (family of 4, each eats 21 meals per week). Foods that are grown locally, whether in your neighborhood or within New York State, don’t have to travel across the country, or overseas to get to your plate. Reducing the food miles for at least some of your family’s meals per week can help reduce your carbon footprint (the fuel and other resources that it takes to move the food you eat) easily making it healthier for you, the consumer, and for the global environment.  That’s less fuel and fewer hours spent traveling to get to your table, and you will see that reflected in the better the price for produce that was grown not far from where you’re buying it.

Local sources of fresh fruits, vegetables, and other produce including eggs, fish, meat, and dairy can be found at your local Farmer’s Market, food coop or local grocery store. Programs like the Farmer’s Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) combine with WIC/SNAP and other food and nutrition programs to offer incentives for shopping at Farmers’ Markets. Farm Stands and other local resources.

Buy Produce that is In-Season These foods will have fewer food miles associated with their journey to the store and ultimately to your table. They will arrive fresh from the farm/greenhouse more quickly. For more information on buying in season, visit one of these links: Seasonal Produce Guide: https://snaped.fns.usda.gov/resources/nutrition-education-materials/seasonal-produce-guide; GrowNYC Seasonal Produce tool: https://www.grownyc.org/greenmarket/whatsavailable

Use food Resources Effectively Programs like the FMNP and WIC/SNAP programs offer incentives for using these benefits to purchase fresh produce and foods with less sugar, salt and fat at NYC Farmers’ Markets and some grocery stores. For example, with the Get the Good Stuff program every dollar spent at participating stores using SNAP/EBT on eligible fruits, vegetables, and beans, will get a matching dollar (up to $10 per day) that can be used for the next purchase of eligible foods. For more information on how to access your local markets or to learn more about the Get the Good Stuff and Health Bucks programs,visit: https://www.grownyc.org/greenmarket/ourmarkets https://www.nyc.gov/site/doh/health/health-topics/free-produce-snap.page

Support Local Farmers Buying locally sourced foods and ingredients help to support the farmers/businesses in your community, nurturing the local economy and stability of neighborhoods. Supporting local farmers and small businesses in turn leads to providing a higher quality of foods and ingredients as well as trust in farmers from the community stakeholders. It ensures that more money is being spent in the community and provides a safety net for consumers who may live with food insecurity or in isolated places like food deserts. Supporting local businesses will help to prevent the further development of food deserts in underserved areas.  When defining health, it is important to consider all the different aspects of our lives, including our physical health, emotional health, as well as environmental factors including access to food, water, and shelter. Access to food that is healthy, safe and that tastes good is more attainable with programs like the FMNP when we support local farmers.

Join a Food Co-Op or Community Garden Additional ways to keep the environment in mind include enjoying more plant-based meals and snacks, and growing foods like herbs and spices in your home and/or participating in a community garden. To Find a Local Community Garden near you, check out the link for NYC Community Gardens: https://www.nycgovparks.org/greenthumb

 Ask Your RDN A Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) can help guide you in locating resources for locally sourced foods and food products. RDNs are food and nutrition experts who help people live healthy lives. The RDN team at God’s Love are available to help answer questions. You can contact the Nutrition Services team at nutrition@glwd.org.

 At God’s Love We Deliver, we work closely with many local providers. We incorporate the love and dedication of local vendors across New York State into our meals. Ingredients sourced from NYS include grass-fed beef, fresh produce, beans, and dairy products. Additionally, we have also taken steps to reduce the amount of plastic we use, further reducing our own carbon footprint.  We work hard to provide medically tailored meals to clients each week and these are just some of the ways we go Beyond the Table to Feed New York City with Love.

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5.23.24 / Nutrition

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