9 Sustainability Hacks for Food Allergy Sufferers
Sustainability is a growing concern for many, and it is becoming increasingly important to incorporate sustainable practices into everyday life.
For sufferers of food allergies, switching to more sustainable practices can be challenging. People with food allergies often require specialized foods that can be more difficult to find, and many such products come in excess packaging, pushing sustainability even further out of reach.
Here are nine key sustainability hacks to help sufferers of food allergies to practice sustainable living.
1. Cook Food From Scratch
Cooking your food from scratch gives you ultimate control over what's in it, as well as preventing it from being contaminated by any allergens. It also makes it easier to stick to locally sourced, seasonal ingredients and reduces packaging waste. Prioritizing home cooking promotes fresh, healthy eating, helps to support local farmers, and reduces the carbon footprint of your food intake.
2. Snack Smart
Whether you snack at home or grab a snack on the run, try to stick to options that limit packaging waste, and use sustainably-sourced ingredients, such as many plant-based foods.
As Jess Grelle, SVP of Innovation at clean-label food company, Safe & Fair says, 'Eating low allergen, plant-based snacks is not only an excellent way to manage allergies, but it's also a more sustainable option. By choosing plant-based foods, we can reduce our carbon footprint, and help to conserve resources - win-win for our health and the planet.'
3. Grow Your Own Food
Growing your own food can be a great solution for allergy sufferers, and helps to reduce your carbon footprint, too. When you grow your own fruits and vegetables, you have the confidence of knowing that they were produced without any harmful chemicals or other allergens. You can also go one step further and use reusable produce bags and containers to reduce plastic waste.
4. Shop at Bulk Food Stores
Bulk food stores are an excellent option for reducing packaging waste, and they often carry a wide range of gluten-free, dairy-free, and other allergy-friendly product options.
5. BYO Containers
When shopping for food, try to remember to take reusable bags and containers with you to reduce packaging waste. It's best to put them back in your car after unloading the shopping, ready for your next trip out.
6. Switch to Reusable Products
For food allergy sufferers, sticking to reusable products, such as containers, straws, and other utensils, can help to avoid cross-contamination as well as reduce packaging waste.
7. Compost Your Food Scraps
Composting is an excellent way to reduce food waste and create healthy, nutrient-rich soil for growing plants. If you have a garden, composting can therefore help you grow your own fruits and vegetables without the need for any harmful chemicals; it's also a handy way of disposing of foods you can't eat, such as eggshells or fruit peels.
8. Stick to In-Season Produce
In-season produce is not only a more sustainable shopping choice, but it can also be a healthier one for people with food allergies. Buying in-season foods is an eco-friendly way to enjoy all the health benefits of eating fresh, whole foods that are less likely to be contaminated with allergens, while sticking to sustainable practices.
9. Eat Local
Eating local foods helps to support local farmers and reduce the carbon footprint related to your food choices. Additionally, local foods are often fresher and contain more nutrients for optimal health.
Find Alternative Protein Sources
It can be tricky to find suitable protein sources when you suffer from food allergies. That said, there are allergy-friendly options to choose from, such as beans, lentils, nuts, and seeds, and thankfully an ever-growing range of low-allergen snack products that contain extra protein. Many of these protein-rich foods are also a more sustainable and healthier option than animal protein sources.
Sustainability is an increasingly important consideration for all of us, including those with food allergies. It's important to remember that sustainability is a journey, and it's ok to start small. By adopting even one of these sustainability hacks, you are making a difference.