Mandy Ferreira

Who: Mandy Ferreira, Online Editor

I'm giving up: Sugar, packaged foods, food waste, unseasonal produce

I love winter squash, hearty beets, and purple kale, but my eyes still light up when I see berries in the grocery store. Bananas? Yes, please.

With many farmer’s markets closed down for the winter, it’s easy to fall into the trap of buying produce that is from halfway around the world instead of sticking to seasonal eats from home. I’m lucky enough to have a sustainable produce delivery service that drops local, organic fruits and vegetables on my doorstep once a week. Even so, it’s tempting to buy the blueberries from Mexico or the (fair trade) bananas from Central America.

The Challenge has been a great reminder to leave the berries on the shelf and indulge in what winter has to offer.Being diligent and only eating foods that I can trace back to the West has definite benefits. It takes far fewer resources to get local produce into my kitchen, which means that I am shrinking my diet’s carbon footprint, and I am directly supporting local businesses and growers. Although I may be limited by what is in season, what is available has a much better taste than something that has been on a container ship for weeks. I am also prone to falling into food ruts where I eat the same thing over and over again, but with seasonal produce I am introducing more variety with every season change.

Now maybe after a few more roasted beets I will forget that I can’t eat the chocolate in my desk drawer.

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