Sustainable Food Consumption

What we choose to eat and drink contributes significantly to our environmental and social impacts. Therefore, diet is a crucial factor in adopting a more sustainable lifestyle. This is one area where voting with your wallet can have a significant, real-world impact. Plus, food is vital to health and well-being, and for that reason alone is well-worth your attention (and money).


Tips

  • Eat organic. Research suggests that it’s healthier for you, and it’s undoubtedly better for the environment through its general rejection of chemicals and high standards of environmental and animal welfare. Organic products can be more expensive than their conventional counterparts, but this is for good reason and one has to consider if the benefits merit the difference in price.
  • Buy Fairtrade. Fairtrade certification indicates a high standard of welfare for producers and allows typically exploited small-scale operations to improve their trading position and returns.
  • Buy local. Supporting local production can reduce carbon emissions while providing a boost to the local economy. Further, it generally means fresh food, which can be healthier, and seasonal food, which is more sustainable. Farmers’ Markets offer cheap, local products with minimal packaging. Better yet, grow your own!
  • Eat less meat and fewer animal products. Meat and animal products are far more resource-intensive than alternative options. The UN has long-urged lower meat consumption as key to tackling climate change, not to mention animal welfare issues. There are also clear health benefits to such dietary change.
  • Plan your portions, and enjoy leftovers. UK households throw away 7 million tonnes of food every year (at a cost of £12.5 billion), largely attributable to cooking too much and not using leftovers. Love Food Hate Waste can help you to plan your portions and give you ideas for re-using leftover food.

Resources


Sources

Nature, UN FAO, Soil Association, Fairtrade

1 Comment

  1. If there is one near you, shop at a food coop. They typically offer more sustainable food items than a conventional store and at a discount. If you join, they often give even bigger discounts.

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