While ‘sustainable agriculture’ and ‘wholesale frozen vegetables’ are two phrases not often seen side-by-side, wholesale frozen vegetables along with other whole foods, has an important role to play in sustainable eating. Before discussing the health benefits associated with this form of production and consumption, let’s begin by first defining sustainable agriculture and then its subset, sustainable eating.
The term sustainable agriculture first surfaced in the early 1980s and while many definitions abound, one of the most comprehensive is that provided by sustainable food advocate, Anna Lappe:
‘Sustainable agriculture is a production system that's good for the environment and for people, that's humane to animals and to food and farm workers, that supports thriving rural and urban communities. In other words, it's the production of food, fibre, or other plant or animal products using techniques that protect the environment, public health, human communities, and animal welfare. It's a way of food production that generates abundance while ensuring future generations can do the same.’
Sustainable eating is the active extension of this – choosing to consume whole foods that are good for both you and the environment. While eating locally and seasonally are two ways in which to practise eating sustainably, much can be said for including wholesale frozen vegetables in one’s approach. Fruit and vegetables picked in-season, harvested at peak ripeness, and then flash frozen so that they’re available year-round, retain far more nutrients than their fresh counterparts which are often picked unripe and then artificially ripened over time in storage – a further drain on energy resources. Another factor to consider in eating sustainably is the issue of waste. Along with being more nutrient-dense, wholesale frozen vegetables minimise waste, because typically only the exact portion size is taken out – for more on the alarming subject of food waste, be sure to read Food Waste – Global Facts & Figures posted earlier in March.
The health benefits associated with eating sustainably are numerous. Because farmers dedicated to sustainable practises avoid using additives, pesticides and antibiotics, the food consumed is purer in form, and also higher in good nutrients and antioxidants. According to the Sustainable Table choosing to eat sustainably produced food may lead to ‘decreased total cholesterol levels, decreased risk of certain cancers, increased colon function, and increased intake of important nutrients and minerals.’ By being more mindful of where food comes from and how it’s been produced, not only do we make healthier choices for ourselves, but we also make healthier choices for our environment.