Sustainability and ME: Eating sustainably in Maine

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Photo Courtesy of The Sunrise Guide

By Oona Molyneaux, USM Eco-Rep

Are you interested in living more sustainably? Do you like food? If your answer is yes, this article is going to be your jam. There are many ways in which one can adopt a sustainable lifestyle, one of which is seasonal eating. Seasonal eating refers to a conscious decision to eat food that is being harvested around the time that you consume it. This generally means that the food has not traveled very far and is in season for harvesting in the region. By consuming food more sustainably, you can reduce your carbon footprint.

Now seasonal food in Maine is not always as exciting, especially in March. However, with the right recipes, you can create delicious and exciting meals from Maine’s seasonal food. So what is in season right now?
In Season Produce (March):
a. Horseradish
b. Mushrooms
c. Sprouts

This produce is generally grown in greenhouses or indoors because of the harsh weather. However, many farms store crops that were harvested in the fall and keep fresh over the winter. These crops are referred to as root vegetables and include:
a. Carrots b. Potatoes c. Squash

So how does one find and prepare these foods, especially while living on a college campus? The first step to finding these foods can be done by taking a trip to your local grocer-even Hannaford’s as a local food stand in the produce section. Generally if a product is labeled as local then you can assume that it is in season. Once you find your favorite product whether that is mushrooms, carrots or squash, there a few different ways to prepare these foods. If you are a squash lover, my favorite and easiest way to cook your squash goes as follows.
1. Cut the squash open and spoon out the seeds into a garbage or compost bin.
2. Sprinkle olive oil over a baking sheet and place the squash face down on the sheet
3. Bake at 350°F for about 20 to 25 minutes
4. Once the squash is at the ideal texture, put butter, salt and pepper on the squash.
Now, if a kitchen is not available to you an easy product to make is the carrots, using your dorms microwave.
1. Cut up the carrots into sticks or circles, place them in a bowl with an inch of water in the
bottom
2. Microwave for 2 to 3 minutes
3. Once the carrots are at the desired texture, cover with butter and/or honey and enjoy.
Once you have finished you can enjoy your sustainable meal knowing you are supporting the local economy and reducing your impact on the environment.Whether you live in an apartment, at home or in the campus dorms these are simple and impactful ways to live a sustainable life.

Want to learn more about what’s in season, check out the Sunrise Guide’s Eating in Season site: thesunriseguide.com/eating-in-season-maine/

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