Sustainable Vancouver: A Guide to Eating Local in the City

This article is the first in a series on living sustainably in Vancouver. Stay tuned for more instalments. Photo by Natalie Maynor.

Eating Local

For the first instalment of sustainable Vancouver I decided to take a look at local food. Here in Vancouver, we are blessed with a wide assortment of local food options which can help make a sustainable lifestyle a reality. From seafood to local produce, much of our diets can be supplemented with local options.

When opting for local choices, consumers will often find that many of the things they enjoy are simply not available. Tropical fruit, olive oils, coffee – many of the staples we enjoy regularly come from abroad and are subject to many unseen costs. When picking up ingredients at the local grocery store, very rarely does one consider the hidden costs affecting our sustainability.

For example, bananas can be had on the cheap quite regularly, but the cost of transporting those bananas is one that remains hidden. While eating local can some times weigh heavier on the budget, the impact on our global carbon footprint is much lower. In no small way, eating local is much less costly for the environment as a whole.

“For food purists, “local” is the new “organic,” the new ideal that promises healthier bodies and a healthier planet,” said Time reporter John Cloud in an article which is now almost four years old.

Produce which is sold locally generally circumvents the need for harsh chemicals like pesticides, as the products are not expected to stay unnaturally fresh while they’re shipped around the globe. When buying organic, local products are usually of higher quality as well, lending more credence to the superiority of local food.

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