Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Eat Right to Keep the Oceans Clean

Claudia Kousoulas recently sent me a post to add to The Daily Ocean's Community Collection Count. Afterwards, I asked her to write about what she saw during her beach cleanups and how this has influenced her thinking about the food she chooses.
Claudia has a fantastic website reviewing Cook Books called Appetite For Books.
Below I have posted her insightful piece about how seeing so much plastic food related trash on the beach made her rethink, and recommit to a sustainable approach to the food she chooses to eat.

In my recent Miami beach clean-up, I realized how much of my trash was food related—wrappers, bottle caps, and bottles. It made me think twice about my own kitchen and what eating habits will generate less waste.

· I stopped buying bottled water a while ago when I learned that the EPA has tougher water regulations than the FDA. Taps water has fluoride, is certainly cheaper, and doesn’t generate mountains of plastic refuse. I use a refillable bottle if I really need to take water. But I’m not trekking through the desert and not really in danger of dehydration.

I shop at the farmer's market where the food is fresh, local, even inspiring, and isn’t over-packaged. Like most shoppers, I bring my own bag and if I start bringing a clean dishtowel, like No Impact Man does, for cheese or bread, my only trash could be compost.

· I already shop the outside aisles of the supermarket, says Marion Nestle. That’s where they put the produce, meats, fish, and dairy—real food. An apple doesn’t need as much packaging as a pop tart. Don’t forget to bring your re-usable bag!

· I’m going to bag the baggies. A year’s worth of plastic sandwich bags: $17.92, a reusable sandwich cloth sandwich bag: $5.00, clean oceans: priceless.

· I hate that deodorant in a sealed plastic container also comes in a box, sometimes with a plastic insert. It has more to do with display than security. Now I like a beauty treat as much as the next girl, but I try to remember that yogurt makes a great facial masque and olive oil is a good hair conditioner. And no mystery chemicals.

Claudia Kousoulas


  1. I've also been inspired by my beach cleanups to eat healthier, and thanks to reading these blogs I've found more ways to reduce, I almost always use re-usable bags. (most of the plastic bags you see me collecting trash in are swiped from room mates, or found as litter themselves)But I was always annoyed that I had to use plastic ones so they could weigh my fruit and stuff. It hadn't even occurred to me to use smaller mesh ones for individual produce! I don't know why. They are going to be my next investment in freedom from plastic!

  2. Awesome post. Reducing my plastic consumption has definitely lead to a better diet. You have to eat more whole foods when you can no longer rely on packaged convenience foods which are full of preservatives and all kinds of other yucky stuff.

  3. (I try to catch up older posts here & there, and I just stumbled on this one.) It's so true about the food plastics. What really got me was that even something as pure as an apple or orange is -still- packaged with a little plastic taggie, which often winds up on my local beach! I'm keeping a list of all the different brands of food items I find. It's sobering; almost anything you buy at the grocery might end up polluting the beach for years to come.