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Sustainable Living Takes Off in 2011

December 28, 2011

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2011 was a monumental year for sustainable food! We saw more and more restaurants with seasonal, local and organic menus pop up across America. Home cooks also moved toward a more sustainable lifestyle by shopping at farmers markets, natural food stores and joining local CSAs. We’ve taken a look at some of the top Sustainable food trends from 2011, published by Grist and The Daily Green, and couldn’t be more excited about the leaps and bounds of progress that has been made!

Wine On Tap

The traditional process of bottling and shipping wine around the world is a expensive and not at all sustainable. A growing number of restaurants in the US, for example The Breslin in New York City, are starting to stock their more popular wine options on tap. Yes, you read that right. Now, instead of popping the cork at your table, waiters will pour you a glass of pinot noir straight from the 20-liter barrel they have behind the bar.

Produce on the Roof

This trend isn’t exactly new, but it did start to take off in 2011. Many restaurants are growing their own vegetables and leafy greens in gardens and greenhouses on their roof. This means your salad traveled approximately 100 feet to get to your place. It doesn’t get much more sustainable than that!

Root-to-Stem

You may have heard about the whole hog butchery, which is the idea of leaving no part of the animal behind as waste. This year, the same ideology was applied to produce. Having beets for dinner? Sautee the greens too instead of throwing them out. Watermelon salad for a 4th of July barbeque? Save the rinds for pickling!

Crop Swap

Local farmers are starting an encouraging new sustainable trend: food swapping. Each farmer offers a bundle of their current crop in exchange for what other farmers are growing. The trend is also catching on in urban areas as people start to swap what they are growing in community garden plots with other growers.

Canning, Pickling, Preserving

Canning is not just for your grandmother anymore! Towards the end of the growing season, in early fall, many people buy as much organic produce as they are able to can, pickle or preserve. In the winter, when fresh, local vegetables are hard to come by, all you need to do is open up your cupboard and pop open a jar of canned tomatoes to make a healthy tomato sauce!

What sustainable health and food trends are we predicting for 2012?

We think there will be in influx of people who grow their own produce or participate in community gardens in rural areas. Hopefully, we’ll see more towns like Todmorden, who are dedicated to sustainable eating.

Another trend? Health Coaches! As we continue to see the negative effects of highly processed foods, people are searching for a way to take back their health. Health Coaches will provide people with the support they need to live a healthier and happier life!

What would you like to see happen in the world of sustainable living in 2012?