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Feature Articles: Food, Fitness and Cooking and Produce


Go green in the kitchen on Earth Day

Tammy Roberts, Nutrition and Health Education Specialist, Bates County, University of Missouri Extension


April 22 is Earth Day — a day to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth’s natural environment so that we can protect the natural gifts of the planet. One of the goals of Earth Day is to measurably reduce carbon emissions. There are small things that anyone can do in our kitchens and with our food to make a difference.


  • Buy locally grown produce. Locally grown produce spends less time on a truck, which reduces carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. The health benefit of locally grown produce is that it retains more nutrients. The longer the fruit or vegetable is away from the plant, the more nutrients it loses. Most food at a farmers market is picked on the morning it is sold.
  • Walk to the farmers market. You can burn 100 calories for every mile walked and for every mile you don’t drive you can prevent a pound of CO2 from being emitted into the atmosphere.
  • Buy in bulk, which helps save money and reduces the amount of packaging that has to go to the recycle bin or the trash.
  • Use cloth whenever possible. Americans consume one-third of the world’s annual paper production, so think twice before you purchase paper towels or paper napkins.
  • Take your own bags to the grocery store. There is no need to purchase new bags, just re-use the ones from your last trip or buy reusable cloth bags. (An exception would be the bags that meat was packaged in — meat and poultry can harbor bacteria so those bags should be thrown out.)
  • Use wax paper. Wax paper can be composted, so use it instead of plastic when you can. Composting is a great way to reduce waste production and it’s great for the garden.


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Last update: Monday, April 17, 2017