“The truth is that our food choices can have drastic impacts on our fragile planet. So it is vital to find trustworthy information to make informed choices on what to buy and eat.”— Valerie Fidan
Here at GreenChoice, we’re on a mission to empower people to create a healthy, just, and sustainable world through their daily food choices. Improving our food system and the health of our country depends on the action of many people. With all that is going on in the world, we understand how important it is to spotlight people who are living healthy and sustainable lives and inspiring others to do the same.
Know someone living a life of health and sustainability who deserves recognition? Submit them to be featured.
We are excited to introduce you to one of our inspiring Health and Sustainability Role Models, Valerie Fidan — a content creator who helps connect influencers to brands in health and wellness through her influencer marketing agency Craveable Social, which you can find at craveablesocial.com and @craveablesocial on Instagram.
The opinions expressed in this interview are Valerie’s own and do not necessarily reflect the view of GreenChoice.
Why is sustainable living and healthy eating important to you?
Healthy eating is essential to be because our eating habits directly determine our health. In our busy schedules and fast lives, we often eat as per convenience, rather than healthy. We usually eat to please our taste buds but remain entirely unaware of the health hazards that this type of eating habit might pose. To lose weight, we also end up cutting out a few essential ingredients from our diet. This, instead of making us healthier, does the exact opposite. Every element is needed for your body, whether it is vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates, fibers, or even fat (although you choose the healthy ones). Each of these nutrients has their own individual roles to play in physical and mental development.
What does sustainable living mean to you?
Perhaps more than anything else, our eating habits directly influence the quality of the environment. What we choose to put on the table, of course, has a very significant weight. Still, the relationship between consumption and pollution (or, in the most desirable of hypotheses, between consumption and saving of the environment) is not limited to food or the simple selection of products. It is useful to take this as a starting point, and then broaden the field to include all that is good for the environment, through our behavior as consumers.
What is the hardest part of sustainable living?
One of the most challenging elements of living a healthy and sustainable lifestyle for me is having to make mindful decisions, researching brands that follow true sustainability from the ethics to production to how something is packaged. It’s challenging to avoid all plastics.
What are you looking for when you go grocery shopping?
When it comes to grocery shopping, I am always buying in season and locally as much as possible. Perhaps a less obvious way of contributing to environmental protection is to support local producers in my weekly food purchases. Buying fruit and vegetables from local retailers, linked to the territory or, even better, directly to the producer, is an excellent way to do good to the planet and themselves. These farmers, having much lower production volumes than those of large industrial groups, use tools and practices that are more sustainable for the environment and have a better impact on health. Buying locally often means not having to use the car, or using it for shorter journeys, with a clear benefit for air quality. Supporting these types of companies and their way of producing can also encourage large companies to imitate their practices, achieving a positive knock-on effect.
Have you used GreenChoice to implement your sustainable lifestyle? What do you think of the app?
I have been using GreenChoice, which has made making the right purchasing decision so much easier! The truth is that our food choices can have drastic impacts on our fragile planet. So it is vital to find trustworthy information to make informed choices on what to buy and eat. I love GreenChoice for this!
What piece of advice would you share with someone who’s interested in sustainable living?
It might seem intimidating at first, but starting with small steps will help you achieve the overall goal of living more sustainably. Making swaps and educating ourselves helps a lot! I always tell people that simple things make a big difference! Don’t use plastic bags at checkout. Instead, take your own bags for groceries. Buy your produce in bulk from your local farmer’s markets. Avoid buying plastic-wrapped products, opt for a paper bag instead. Stop buying bottled water! Shop at bulk food stores for any goods. Better yet, take in your own jars. Take your own paper bags or a container when buying fresh bread from a bakery. Bring your own containers to the deli. If you drink beer, take a growler to your local brewery. These are all simple lifestyle changes that can be made for anyone looking to start living a more healthy and sustainable life.
You can follow Valerie on Instagram @craveablesocial and craveablesocial.com.
GreenChoice, PBC has evaluated and rated more than 340,000 food & beverage products across hundreds of attributes related to diet, health, and sustainability. Easily find the best products for you, the planet, & your budget. Download the free GreenChoice app for Apple iOS or Android!