Food Corner: Tips on How to Eat Sustainably while Traveling

1. Continue to travel


“Say: Travel through the Earth and deeply observe how God did originate the creation; then God produces the next creation; surely God has power over all things” (Qur’an 29:19-20).


This pandemic has hurt not only our physical health but also our mental health. Now that restrictions are lifted and vaccinations have demonstrated their effectiveness, it’s an exciting time to go back out into the world and travel. We encourage people to travel and learn about the amazing world with all its cultures and beauty. One reminder is that traveling locally can decrease fuel costs and greenhouse gas emissions and help rebuild the local economy after the global COVID-19 pandemic.


2. Eat locally


One of the great aspects of travel is the food! Eating new and flavorful foods and learning about the culture behind cooking and sharing increases your appreciation and understanding of different places. What is also encouraging is that foods grown locally tend to have less pesticide use, less greenhouse gas emissions due to decreased transportation costs, and less preservatives. You can also help the local economy by investing in their local food systems. For more information on food systems and faith, please visit: https://www.faithandfood.earth/.


3. Halal is not just Halal meat


It’s easy to find and eat halal foods during your travels. In addition to eating halal meat, it’s refreshing to know that plant-based foods and seafood are also halal. Eating more locally-sourced fruits, vegetables, salads, fish allows you to eat halal AND promote sustainability.


4. It’s Tayyib AND Halal


“O people! Eat what is lawful and pure on the earth, and do not follow the footsteps of the Devil; undoubtedly, he is your open enemy.” (Qur’an 2:168).

It’s important to remember that the Q ur’an not only discusses Halal foods, but also Tayyib foods. The way our food systems are designed are for mass production with long shelf lives to withstand transportation to wherever food is being exported. Avoiding these processed foods and focusing on naturally grown and prepared foods are better for your health, the local economy as well as taste!


5. Avoid waste


“And do not waste, for God does not love the wasteful.” (Qur’an 6:141)


No matter how pure and halal food may be, it can always be wasted. It’s estimated that almost 40% of food is wasted throughout the world. It can help to not order too much food all at once and to plan for leftovers. Knowing where you can donate extra food or compost the food waste can be helpful as well.


6. Offset your carbon emissions


As fun as exploring is, traveling, in particular, tourism accounts for 8% of the world’s carbon emissions. There are ways to offset the amount of carbon that is emitted from traveling. You can calculate the amount of carbon and help invest in clean energy and technology. For more information, please visit https://native.eco/ and https://sustainabletravel.org/.


“A traveler without observation is a bird without wings.”

Moslih Eddin Saadi


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