Friday, April 11, 2014

April's Balanced U Theme is Earth Friendly Foods

April is Earth Month; therefore, Balanced U's theme for the month just happens to be Earth Friendly Foods!

What are Earth Friendly Foods?  Earth Friendly Foods have minimal impact on the Earth.

The way food is handled before it gets to you influences the nutrient and sustainability qualities of the food. You’ve probably heard of the Slow Food Movement. No doubt you’ve heard of local fruits and vegetables. Organic, free range, hormone free, antibiotic free - these are all part of the sustainable food movement. Our daily food choices do play a role in our personal carbon footprint, and every little bit of savings counts.
Consider everything you eat during the day and how it got to you. Even that cup of coffee you picked up in the morning on your way to campus consumed valuable resources before it got to you. You don’t have to deprive yourself, but be aware of your decisions.

Here are some tips for you to consume more Earth Friendly Foods:

Seasonal Produce: One hundred years ago most folks didn’t eat lettuce in December - instead they ate root vegetables and hearty greens that could stand up to storage. Educate yourself on the seasonality of fruits and vegetables in your geographic region and select from seasonal varieties most often.

Protein: Generally speaking, plant sources of protein use less fossil fuels than animal sources of protein. Reducing the amount of animal protein you eat each day, or substituting one vegetarian meal for an animal protein meal a week is a great start to reduce your carbon footprint. If you eat fish, choose sustainably caught sources.

Less Processed: Any food that is less processed is a more sustainable choice. Think of whole foods in a natural state.

Tap Water: Ditch the plastic bottles for water and soft drinks, instead get your own refillable mug or personal cup. Tap water is clean and fluoridated, which helps prevent cavities.

How Chartwells at Saint Louis University Serves... Sustainably

We serve foods from local farms and local sources - Some of the local farms that we work with are: Theis Farms, Double Star Farms, Lee Farms, Troutdale Farms, Timber Farms, Rain Crow Farms, and Flamm Orchards. Some of the local sources we utilize are: Kaldi's, G & W Sausage, Companion Breads, LaBonne Bouchee. Local produce and sources typically mean there is a smaller carbon footprint than food coming from across the US or around the world.

We only purchase sustainable seafood Best Choices and Good Alternatives options as identified by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program. Sustainable Seafood  helps maintain species of fish that are threatened or may provide options with less contamination.

All our milk and yogurt is from cows not treated with rbgH (rbgH free)

We offer reduced antibiotic chicken and poultry - where the animals are only treated if they are sick, not as a preventive measure.

Our eggs are sourced from birds that are cage free.

We offer vegetarian options at all meals for the Vegetarians and Flexitarians among us. Meat of any kind taxes our resources to a greater extent than almost any other food because the animal must be cared for, fed, transported, and then processed. Reducing meat and dairy consumption can ultimately reduce the demand for these products and lessen the impact of the industry on the global environment.

We monitor our own food waste closely, and seek ways reduce it further.

We work with local recycling programs.

We offer green paper products wherever possible.

Earth Friendly Foods to Look for at Saint Louis University from now until May:

Seasonal Fruits: apricots, honeydew, limes, lychee, mango, oranges, pineapple, strawberries

Seasonal Vegetables: artichoke, asparagus, endive, broccoli, butter lettuce, chayote squash, collared greens, corn, fennel, green beans, mustard greens, radicchio, rhubarb, snow peas, spinach, swiss chard, vidalia onions, watercress

Proteins: dried beans, peas, lentils, rgbH free milk and yogurt, sustainable seafood choices, reduced antibiotic meats.

tap water, infused water

Resources for More Information

National Farmer's Market Directory -

Slow Food - or

Environmental Protection Agency -

Environmental Working Group -
Environmental Working Group Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides -

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