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A Pocket Guide to Sustainable Food Shopping

How to Navigate the Grocery Store, Read Labels, and Help Save the Planet

Reduce your food and packaging waste and lower your carbon footprint with this modern, practical guide to sustainable grocery shopping.

Almond milk, oat milk, rice milk—which of the countless nondairy milks available on the market does the least harm to the environment? How do you decode the language on an egg carton? Is it possible to keep a bundle of fresh asparagus from spoiling so. darn. fast? If plastic is so bad, why is it on everything, and what can you do about it?

These are just some of the questions A Pocket Guide to Sustainable Food Shopping will help answer. Whether you’re someone who’s been making changes for years or you’re clueless about where to start when it comes to sustainability, this book will teach you how to make a difference.

Cutting back on food waste is one of the most impactful ways you can personally help combat climate change. With extra pages for taking notes and a space to perform your own waste audit at home, this book provides the tools to make better choices about what goes into your grocery cart, and how you ultimately treat those items once they’re in your home.

You’ll learn some hard-to-swallow facts about the food industry and gain some actionable tips for making the grocery store—and the world—a more ethical place. You’ll become better at reading food labels, getting acquainted with terms you can trust, and recognizing words and phrases to regard with skepticism. You’ll gain the confidence to shop in the bulk section, ask your butcher questions about sourcing, and perhaps finally relieve some of the guilt you feel over the mountain of plastic bags accumulating beneath your sink.

If you’re ready to make a change, let’s get to it.

Photograph by Lori Gutman

Kate Bratskeir is a journalist based in New York City, where she lives with her spouse and dog. She writes about food and health and believes in the right to food access and education for all. Her work has appeared in HuffPost, Health, Fast Company, and more.