What makes food sustainable?
From my experience, when most people are asked about sustainable food, they often think about the same thing. Farms. Although as you might have guessed, it’s not so straightforward as that.
According to Sustain, a group of organisations and communities who work are working towards a better system of food, sustainable food is good food that is ‘produced, processed, distributed and disposed of in ways that:
- Contribute to thriving local economies and sustainable livelihoods
- Protect the diversity of both plants and animals and the welfare of farmed and wild species
- Avoid damaging or wasting natural resources or contributing to climate change
- Provide social benefits, such as good quality food, safe and healthy products and educational opportunities.’
But what does this really mean?
A lot of thought needs to go into the food we farm and eat, as well as how we farm it. If we’re not careful, bad things will happen and have in the past (you don’t need me to tell you about climate change or the story of the dodo). We’re talking about things such as endangering species either directly or indirectly through climate change. Even small-time farmers going out of business if we shop from the wrong places. Unfortunately, even as we work towards a better future with sustainable food, we often take great leaps backwards.
How can we help make food sustainable?
There’s a number of things we can be doing to ensure the safety of our planet, animals, and local communities. Here are some suggestions:
Shop from local farms and markets
What better way to support your farms by purchasing your meat, fruit, and vegetables straight from farms or through their marketplaces? Not only will your community’s economy be better off from it, but you’re ensuring that any produce you buy has been farmed organically and fairly. Visiting the farm yourself even ensures you’re buying the freshest products available!
Buy Fairtrade products
If you live in the UK, you’ve no doubt heard of Fairtrade products. The Fairtrade Foundation is an environmental conservation organisation that helps small-scale farmers and workers by protecting their rights and ensuring they earn a liveable wage. By shopping Fairtrade, you’re supporting the people who give you good food.
Grow your own fruit and veg
Growing your own produce is a great way to save money while saving the planet at the same time. Not only do you have greater control about what you’re eating, but by growing your own crops you won’t be supporting any farms that use pesticides which aren’t only harmful to the environment, but also you! And who knows? Maybe by the end of it, you’ll have found a new hobby!
Eat less meat and dairy
This is a big one. As Greenpeace puts it, eating lots of meat ‘makes the planet sick.’ Animals raised in livestock such as cows, pigs and chickens create huge amounts of greenhouse gases comparable to cars and trucks. By having a plant-based diet, you’ll help support a better environment by combatting climate change.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you need to drop meat altogether. While our world and health status is by far more important, supporting meat farms a little is great for the economy and still provides protein and other nutrients.
Every year, a massive one-third of all food produced is thrown away. By reducing the amount of food you waste, you’re helping save the environment massively!
Of course, the food waste problem is a bigger issue. Restaurants and grocery stores everywhere are known for throwing away a huge amount of food at the end of the day. Organisations such as Too Good To Go are combating this by helping food stores sell their unsold food at the end of the day for prices from £2 – £4, reducing their food waste. Interested? Keep an eye on this blog, as we’ll be diving deeper into the food soon.
As you can see, there’s a lot we can be doing to help make sure our food is sustainable. Climate change is a major issue, and the food we eat plays a massive part in that equation. By following some of these guides, you’ll be doing your part in the food battle against climate change.
Interested in learning more? For the next couple of weeks, we’ll be focusing heavily on food tech and sustainability, highlighting the different companies and organisations that are working towards a better future for food as well as different ways that you can make a difference.
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Interested in the world of food delivery? Start your journey today with The Importance of Food Delivery.