For starters, it’s important to understand what food production is. Food production is the process of manufacturing and growing food in large quantities. It also includes the process of transforming raw foods into prepared food products. So basically, the making of food that we can eat.
Beyond mindlessly buying whatever is being sold at Walmart in the produce section, we could take some steps in being more aware of what we can do to extract the most environmentally sustainable, nutritious, and fairly grown fresh food for us to eat. See below for 11 tips you can try and apply to be more informed and involved in your own food production.
1. Be a food producer in whatever way you can.
Whether you have a large impressive garden taking up your backyard or a mere potted basil plant, make some food for yourself with a little sunlight, water, and soil.
2. Make your own compost with kitchen scraps and feed that to your plants or someone else’s plants if you don’t have any.
This helps ensure all parts of food/it’s plant go to good use and can continue being part of new food production.
3. Be part of a community garden and help raise awareness about growing your own food.
You can teach about growing food or learn about growing food, just get involved and be part of a bigger force of people producing some of their own food.
4. Partner up with your neighbors and grow different foods in all of your home gardens.
Then you can set up a system of trading to have a whole boatload of food variety produced right from home without being right from your own home.
5. Learn about the history of food.
Food has evolved so much in the last century and not always for the better. I recommend the book “Eating on the Wild Side” by Jo Robinson. It is an easy read and also full of tips about food selection and storage.
6. Learn about good farming practices so you know what foods you will want to purchase and understand the benefits of your purchase.
7. Learn where your food comes from.
Tour farms, read those little stickers on produce, talk to farmers at farmer’s markets, learn about what foods are local to your state – I actually wrote a post about that HERE.
8. Buy as locally as possible.
You support your local economy and fellow neighbors while keeping extra money out of big businesses pockets. Local food is also usually fresher as it hasn’t been picked prematurely and transported long distances. Fresh food means better quality and sometimes better nutrient profile (definitely so in the case of tomatoes, for example).
9. Buy from farmers directly.
That way you skip the middle man, get food much fresher, may be able to get food cheaper, get food package-free if you request it, and know the background about the food you buy (assuming you ask or they tell). Consider signing up for a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) to be connected directly with a farmer who can provide you with local, seasonal food.
10. Learn about food processing and what goes into the food you regularly buy.
When you learn about all the additives that go into packaged food you may be less inclined to buy them and more inclined to make them on your own. Which brings us to my last point.
11. Now get cooking!
Make your own favorite dishes if you can. Try making new ones. If nothing else, you can resort to using your own unique foods for quick and easy meals like pasta bowls, buddha bowls, salads, soups, and smoothies. Doing this can also usually drastically reduce the amount of plastic waste that comes with buying fast food or pre-packaged and prepared meals at the store. Also, when you cook at home you are in control of what goes into your food. Most of us aren’t dumping in preservatives, food coloring, excessive salt and sugar, and so on into our own home cooked meals. You’re health will benefit here too!
Could you apply one or more of these too your life? I hope so! Tell me if there are any points I may have missed in the comments. 🙂