Every night, 1 in 8 people goes to bed hungry. Many Americans want to help, but they often don’t know where to begin. Oxfam America implements many policies and supports projects that help alleviate poverty, hunger, and social injustice in over 90 countries around the world. The GROW campaign is Oxfam’s initiative to build a better food system. These are some simple steps you can take at home to contribute to a sustainable food system:
1. Support farmers – this can be accomplished in a number of ways. You can purchase fair trade products such as tea, coffee, and chocolate at your favorite grocery store; if you shop at a farmer’s market, such as HOPE Farmer's Market, this is a great way to contribute to local, small-scale farmers.
- Did you know? Farmers in poor countries rarely see substantial profit from the food they produce. Look for brands that ensure those farmers are paid fairly.
2. Shop seasonally – check out a community garden or chat up a farmer at the market to find out what fruits and veggies are in season. You can also find a list of what’s in season near you on Oxfam America’s site.
- Did you know? Growing fruits and vegetables out of season uses extra energy and wastes valuable natural resources.
- Did you know? A family of four can save the equivalent of 17 bathtubs full of water by switching to lentils instead of beef just once per week.
4. Cook smart – simple tweaks to the way you cook at home can make a big difference in the amount of energy consumed. Put the lid on your pot of water, then turn down the heat once it begins to boil. Use your oven to bake more than one thing at a time.
- Did you know? If only 6 countries with urban households cooked more efficiently, the energy benefit would be the same as planting 540 million trees and letting them grow for 10 years.
- Did you know? U.S. households throw away more than 2.7 million apples every year, and approximately 1/3 of all food produced goes to waste.
Want to find other ways to make a positive impact on the food system? Join the Austin Oxfam Action Corps at our next monthly meeting! We’ll be at Austin Java on 12th & Lamar on Tuesday, August 20, 2013. Find us on Facebook to keep up with current events and future activities, or send us an email if you'd like to receive email updates!