Everywhere you turn these days, it seems like terms such as “green,” “locavore,” and “sustainable” are getting thrown around. What is a sustainable food, and why should you care about eating them?

Basically, the concept of sustainability refers to whether a practice can be carried out indefinitely without causing undue harm to the environment. For example, although controversial, most people can agree that the practice of relying on coal or fossil fuels for energy is not sustainable, because these supplies are finite and non-renewable. Simply put, we’ll run out of them some day.

When it comes to food production, sustainability refers to agricultural practices that can be carried out indefinitely without causing permanent damage to the Earth. When you opt for food that has been grown using sustainable methods, you’re basically making an investment in the long-term health of the environment. On the other hand, when you opt for food that is the product of non-sustainable agriculture, you may be helping to fund practices that harm the environment, such as slash-and-burn harvesting techniques or unsafe pesticide use. For more information on sustainable food—including the latest news and issues, how to shop for sustainable products, and more, click here to visit the Sustainable Table website!