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Food and the Environment

For most of the people in this country, if we want a certain food we can get it. It has become easily accessible no matter where it comes from at whatever the time of year. This hasn’t been possible for all that long but it’s becoming increasingly obvious that this isn’t sustainable. It is stated that we’d need 7 planets for everyone in the world to eat like a G20 nation. Already, other countries and the world as a whole are paying the price for our lifestyle in the west.

There are 7.8 billion people in the world. This is expected to rise to 10 billion by the year 2050. At the moment food accounts for a quarter of our carbon emissions and the production of food uses 50% of the world’s habitable land. By 2050 we need to reduce our carbon emissions to zero, reforest more land and feed another 2 billion people. How can we do this?

Meat and Dairy

You’ve probably heard a lot in the last few years how we need to reduce our meat and dairy intake. But why?

50% of the world’s habitable land is used for agriculture and 77% of this is used to produce meat and dairy products.

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Seafood could be a sustainable food source. The problem is that we rely on a small variety of fish and seafood so numbers cannot replenish compared to what we take from the sea.

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Fruit and Vegetables

We grow 52% of our vegetables and 16% of the fruit we eat in this country.

We have become accustomed to being able to buy any fruit or veg at any time of the year and it can be shipped or flown in from all over the world.

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Fairtrade and the climate crisis

Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world.

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Sustainable Rice

Many rice farmers do not get paid enough for the back breaking work that they do. Most of the work is done by hand. The pay is so low that some farmers are forced to find other work out of season, often having to leave their families to work miles away.

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Food Production and Biodiversity Loss

Food production is responsible for almost 60% biodiversity loss since 1970 according to the WWF Living Planet Report 2020

Read more about what we can do on the WWF website.

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Crop Production and Climate Change

If you grow vegetables you’ve probably noticed the change in the weather over the last few years: not as many frosts, long periods of wet weather, long periods of dry, hot weather early in the growing season, and this is causing problems.

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Regenerative Farming

More farmers are trying regenerative farming methods to improve their soil, hold onto the moisture in the soil, to introduce more wildlife, and to reduce the amount of fertilizers and pesticides they use.

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Palm oil

One monocrop causing devastation to the world is palm oil.

Huge areas of rainforests are cut down and replaced by plantations of oil palm trees. An area of rainforest the size of the UK was replaced with oil palm between 1990 and 2015. (Source: Greenpeace)

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We all know that home cooked food is better for our health in most cases, but it is also better for the planet.

Ready made meals became popular in the 70’s when more people bought freezers for their homes and more women went to work.

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Food Waste

  • 30 – 40% of all the food produced in the world is wasted each year.
  • It takes an area of land larger than China to grow this amount of food!

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