It's football season, the time of year when Americans drop the tailgate, pull out the grills, crack a few brews, and celebrate their team. But it can be a lonely time for fans wanting to eat and drink healthfully and sustainably. It's more important than ever, though: heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women; the industrial food system contributes to as much as 30 percent of global carbon emissions; and Americans are getting sick because of exposure to antibiotics and pesticides in our food. But fear not, tree-hugging tailgaters: we've rounded up some guilt-free suds and grillables to take with you to the game.
Photo: Gnomedude/Creative Commons via Flickr
New Belgium Beer
If you live out West, this small-scale Colorado brewer has one of the best—and greenest —beers on the market. Choose from more than 25 varieties, from the famous Fat Tire amber ale to the special-release Frambozen, a raspberry brown ale. And you can drink them with a clean conscience, as everything about
New Belgium is green—from reusable steam in the brewing process, to the type of wood they use for shelving, to its use of a state-of-the-art wastewater treatment process and wind energy. Photo: betsyweber/Creative Commons via Flickr
Applegate Farms Great Organic Beef Hot Dog
We don’t have to tell you that most hot dogs are filled with all sorts of unmentionable ingredients. Not only are
Applegate Farms’ hot dogs made from 100 percent grass-fed beef, they are also the lowest calorie (110 calories) grass-fed dog on the market. They’re also the most widely available. Photo: Applegate Farms
Long Trail Brewing Company
Vermont-based Long Trail makes a line called Eco-Brew. The “spent mash” from brewing is sent to area farmers as cow feed, while the kettle steam is recovered and stored for energy and heating. Wastewater is treated and recycled, reducing water usage. Their on-site vehicles are powered by biodiesel from their pub’s kitchen grease, and they invest in local alternative energy and small farmer cooperative called Cow Power.
Photo: Long Trail Brewing Company
Sierra Nevada Brewing Company
For a sustainable brew that’s available nationwide, Sierra Nevada is a good bet. The country’s largest microbrewery uses fuel cell technology to power their brewing and has won California’s highest award for waste reduction.
Photo: Bernt Rostad/Creative Commons via Flickr
Niman Ranch Fearless Franks
Niman Ranch has made a name for itself offering high-quality, often organic and free-range meats. All farms that raise animals for
Niman Ranch products are Certified Humane by the nonprofit Humane Farm Animal Care. Look for them online, at Whole Foods, and other natural-food stores nationwide. Photo: Niman Ranch
Blackwing Organic Turkey Burgers
Your buddies don’t have to know they’re eating a turkey burger, do they? Turkey is a tasty alternative to ground red meat, and the turkey burgers from
Blackwing Quality Meats are 100 percent organic. Order online and have them delivered to your door in time for the game. Photo: ryochiji/Creative Commons via Flickr
Nature’s Prime Organic Bratwursts
Nature’s Prime makes one of the best and most sustainable brats on the market, but your fellow tailgaters don’t have to know it’s organic. It’s also surprisingly low in calories (110) and sodium (360 mg), though they’re a bit on the pricy side. ($41.99 / 24-pack) Photo: Nature’s Prime
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