Did you know that you vote more than 200 times a day? That’s the number of food choices you make each day, and each choice is telling someone that you vote for that type of food and way of eating. Your food choices speak to the food industry and tell them “I want more of this.” That is a really big responsibility — and some pretty awesome power that each of us holds. Here’s how to make educated votes.
- Study up on vocab: Pop quiz! Do you know what the difference is between organic carrots, conventional carrots, and locally grown carrots? Or what it means if eggs are “cage-free”? Can you identify each ingredient in the foods you eat? As a daily voter, it’s your right to know what you’re eating before casting your vote. Get your questions about what organic means answered here , your questions about eggs answered here , and find a local farmer’s market here .
- Consider your food’s story: Did you know that when you eat a slice of pizza, you’re eating wheat that was grown on a farm, processed in a mill, and then turned into dough and assembled with tomato sauce and cheese at your fave pizza place? That cheese comes from a cow that was raised on a dairy farm to produce milk that was then taken to a factory and turned into cheese. The pizza sauce is made from tomatoes that were also grown on a farm. But what were the farms like? Who are the people behind them? Ask your local restaurants where they source their ingredients. Then, take the next step by making it known that you would like to see more ingredients from local organic producers.
- Use your dollars wisely: When you spend your food money, you’re supporting the way that company treats their animals, treats the land they grow fruits/veggies/grains on, treats their employees, etc. Think about what you want your dollars to support most and spend a larger percentage of your food money on those companies. Every food company has a website, so check them out to see what they’re all about… and don’t be afraid to e-mail or call them with questions!
- Ask for what you want: If you want to see a certain company’s products or a specific type of food at a local grocery store or restaurant, ask for it! Trust us, stores and restaurants want to make customers happy so they come back… again and again. If enough people ask for the foods that they want, companies will respond.
To see how we use our daily food votes, follow us on Twitter, @CJNutrition .