If you live in the northern hemisphere, you are probably looking forward to the sun shining brighter over the next few months, now that summer is upon us. With more sunshine means more time for outside adventures!
As our activity levels increase, our bodies need healthy fuel to keep us going. At the same time, we are surrounded by climate change studies unsure if the natural beauty we all currently enjoy will be around in 20, 30, 50 years. Our daily food choices are highly connected to the footprint we leave behind. Choosing organic is important but not enough. Over and over the UNCTAD, FAO, leading agriculture organizations around the world, as well as Equal Exchange, continue to call out the need to focus on small-scale production to sustain food security in the long run. Individual foods have been analyzed for their environmental toll in various studies. The verdict: fruits, vegetables, dried fruits and nuts impact the environment much less than animal and highly processed products.
It might seem complicated, and it is. The good news: Equal Exchange products meet many of the criteria that these many organizations and researchers are repeatedly discovering as important to slow climate change. Equal Exchange purchases food grown only by small-scale producers around the world who farm sustainably. Plus, Equal Exchange products across the board fall in the less environmentally detrimental category.
This summer as you reach for a snack to fuel your hike, bike, swim, picnic in the park, test out some of the ideas below. You will not only be making healthy choices for yourself, you will also be helping to sustain the environment for generations to come.
- Try Equal Exchange raisins to quickly boost blood sugar in place of highly processed sports drinks, gels, goos and bars. San Diego State University researchers found those who consumed the same amount of quick-digesting carbohydrates from raisins or a sports gel 45 minutes prior to endurance exercise experienced a similar benefit in performance.
- Toss together a DIY trail mix with your favorite combination of Equal Exchange nuts and dried fruits.
- Make your own cashew butter or almond butter, smear it on a rice cake and top with slices of an Equal Exchange banana. I love mine with a dash of cinnamon.
- Cook up some homemade granola bars.
- Rehydrate with Equal Exchange iced tea. Try this tasty red and black iced tea.
By making these choices, you are not only supporting your health, but the health and longevity of the natural world around you. Small farmers, big change!