Using Sustainable Travel to Combat Obesity

kids-watermellonSustainable travel has myriad applications and associations. Typically, sustainable travel is thought to be exclusive to modes of transportation or avoiding the use of non- biodegradable materials during a trip. While such associations are certainly a welcomed application of sustainable travel, trite perceptions of sustainable travel are just a chip off of the steadily melting iceberg. Our country has become known as one of the most obese nations in the free world, and by the looks of advertising agencies with glossy marketing ads, it appears that we are proud of such a reputation. To make matters worse, the grim statistics of obesity seem to be most prevalent amongst the younger portions of our population. A population with an ever- expanding waistband means more than bigger pants; it also means more exhaust of our natural resources. Our nation isn’t obese from an excessive consumption of natural fruits and vegetables. It is the genetically modified food that must accept the blame for this epidemic, and the same source must accept the blame for the environmental toll associated with the production of these toxic chemicals.

If we know that the production of organic goods are not only better for the environment but for our families as well, why not promote their value by planning a trip to a local farmers’ market? With more farmers’ markets staying open year- round, the opportunities to change your child’s ideas about food at a pivotal moment are plentiful. Almost 20% of children under the age of 19 are considered to obese, so the need for a healthier image of eating and producing could not come at a better time.

Before embarking on your sustainable travel to share the gospel of organic and local food with your child, keep a few things in mind. First of all, it is best to check out the website of the farmers’ market you are thinking about visiting. Some farmers’ markets are more involved in the shopping experience than others, and since your aim is to excite children about eating healthy foods that are not too taxing on the environment when produced, it’s best to visit a farmers’ market with an equally exciting atmosphere. Once you have selected a farmers’ market that you know will provide a fun atmosphere for your children, plan to make their trip to the farmers’ market unlike any other shopping trip. Fully engage your child in the entire process, from explaining the origins of the products (ask a sales attendant if unsure) to weighing the products to estimating the cost of the products. By inviting your children to participate, you are not only equipping them with the knowledge of eating healthy, sustainably produced foods, but you are also giving them the confidence to make the right decisions.

A trip to the farmers’ market with your children will be less taxing on your child’s body as well as our environment, and that is a quite a winning combination.

Photo Credit: Klardrommar

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