Resource depletion and climate change are extremely real. With temperatures rising around the globe and crops and species nearing extinction because of human exploitation, the urge to eat sustainably has never been so palpable. Indeed, diners have sent out such a strong call for locally produced, organic produce that even well-known chain restaurants are struggling to keep up.

If you find yourself craving the convenience and comfort of fast-food restaurants but want to change those dining habits, read up on these top benefits of eating at healthy, eco-friendly restaurants. You’ll soon realise that sustainable dining is a delicious, refreshing adventure in eating out – not a sacrifice in the least.

Tasty food

When many people think of sustainable food – especially vegan and vegetarian food – they think of boring, limited, bland meals. We’re here to banish that myth!

While much of the food you can easily find at supermarkets is stuffed with preservatives and artificial colours and flavours, the meals you’ll eat at a sustainable café or restaurant will be packed with flavour and – if made from local produce – full of the unique taste of the land.

So, although you may pay a little more for a sustainable meal than you would for, say, a Happy Meal, your taste buds will enjoy a better experience for it.

More options

You probably have a friend or relative who is vegan and prefers not to drink cow’s milk in their coffee or other hot drinks. One of the best things about sustainable cafés and restaurants is the breadth of options they offer for people who – whether because of allergies or ethical reasons – may want to avoid animal products.

Image title

Photo credit: Pikwizard

Your body will thank you

Many recent studies have shown that mass-produced and processed foods aren’t the best for your health. From clogging your arteries to heightening the risk of cancer, greasy goods are massively detrimental.

The notion that sustainable cafés and restaurants would serve unhealthy food is a bit of an oxymoron. When you walk through the door of your local salad bar or vegan diner, you’re not going to encounter your usual artery-stuffing fare but the fresh, healthy dishes that will best fuel your body and mind.

Your support will sustain the business and its practices

One reason that sustainable cafés and restaurants are so great is not only the organic food their chefs and owners pride themselves on but that this eco-friendly ethos extends to every aspect of their business praxis. For example, many business owners ally with local industrial companies to recycle food waste or leftover packaging into useful goods.

Your money will stay within your local area

Eating at chain joints like McDonald’s and KFC means that we’re giving over our money to huge corporations that provide less direct financial gains to our communities compared to locally sourced spots. When you purchase food or drink from a local sustainable restaurant, you can rest assured that your pennies support the plights of local farmers and harvesters who are doing their bit for the organic food movement. Plus, sustainable cafés and restaurants often put on educational events in-house and at local schools and community centres to promote sustainable food choices.

Image title

Photo credit: Pikwizard

You’ll know that you’re contributing to change

Getting people to change their dining preferences is no easy task, but when we all work on making microlevel changes (like which café to buy our morning coffee from, for example), that’s when the massive-scale revolution comes about. By eating at sustainable restaurants, you’ll know that you’re not only supporting your own health but the environmental well-being of the world too. And what’s better than that?

Cloe truly cares about the environment and protecting it, which is why she loves to support local businesses that make a conscious effort to do the same. In the words of Anand Mahindra, sustainability “has to be a way of life to be a way of business”. Check out Cloe’s website for more of her published work.

For more articles like this, like Foodie on Facebook

Freelance writer from New Zealand. Visit her Tumblr to read more of her articles.

Win tasty prizes in our Valentine’s Day giveaway!

Join our biggest giveaway yet and win prizes for you and your partner