Southern Illinois University Carbondale

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Sustainable Eating

You may be wondering about the local food and sustainable eating buzz that has been a growing lifestyle choice these days. What’s sustainable eating? Why choose local foods? Look no further salukis! Here are some of the answers you’re looking for!

What is sustainable eating? Sustainable eating means choosing to eat not only for your own health but also for the health of our planet. Eating locally grown and raised foods helps reduce your carbon footprint, in other words, decreasing your impact on the environment. Many foods are imported from across the United States or from other countries. Buying local foods decreases the distance your food travels to reach your plate, in turn requiring less gas needed for transportation! Also, sustainable eating encourages food diversity! Food diversity means eating different species of foods, like heirloom tomatoes, purple potatoes, and rainbow carrots.

Where can I buy local foods? You’re in luck, salukis! Living in Southern Illinois, we have so many opportunities to follow a more sustainable lifestyle! There are many local farms in this area, and you can easily find their products at either of the Carbondale farmer’s markets. The great thing about going to farmer’s markets is never knowing what exactly you’ll find. SIU Carbondale also has its own farms where you can purchase produce, and the dining halls even incorporate some of these foods! There are so many delicious seasonal foods to try! Here are some foods you might find at our local farmer’s markets:

  • Apples
  • Watermelon
  • Peaches
  • Okra
  • Spaghetti squash and other types of squash
  • Tomatoes
  • Potatoes
  • Purple bell peppers
  • Farm fresh eggs, chicken, and bison
  • Nuts
  • Eggplant
  • Greens

Get creative in the kitchen! You never know what you’re going to find each Saturday!

With Earth Day approaching quickly, try not only eating for your health but for the health of our planet! Check out some of the local, seasonal foods found in Southern Illinois by visiting local farmer’s markets. Try some foods you’ve never had before, all the while helping the environment!

Stay happy and healthy,

Your University Housing Nutrition Team
Residence Hall Dining

Emily Feagans
Dietetics Graduate Assistant

Cecily Haase
Undergraduate Nutrition Intern