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Sustainable Food

37% greenhouse gases are produced through food production

So much energy and resources are used to produce our food. Why is this a problem?

  • Causes loss of natural land and habitats – deforestation, loss of nature.
  • Farming – growing of monocultures (vast areas of one crop), burning and ploughing of depleted crops.
  • The inputs – fertiliser and pesticides needed. How they are produced and their impact on the land and biodiversity.
  • Ploughing – releases carbon and disrupts valuable structures and organisms in the soil.

  • Transportation – production of greenhouse gases, pollution and packaging.
  • Processing – production of greenhouse gases, pollution and packaging.
  • Water used in all stages of production. Water facts.
  • How workers are treated – low pay and working conditions.
  • Storage – space used, temperature of storage, and production of greenhouse gases.

  • Packaging – use of resources, extra space needed and production of waste.
  • Impact on health – is the food providing you with the nutrition your body needs.

Tips for eating a sustainable and healthy diet

  • Grow your own food.
  • Join with friends and neighbours to buy food in bulk and split between you.
  • Eat a wide range of plants. According to WWF, 75% of the world’s food supply comes from just 12 plants and five animal species.
  • Buy dried beans and pulses in bulk instead of tinned varieties. Cook in large amounts and freeze ready to use.

  • Choose organic where you can.
  • Think about the ingredients in dishes and choose more sustainable options;
    – rice uses a lot of water to grow and produces methane. Try using bulgur wheat as a replacement. It contains more fibre and protein, and uses less water to grow.
  • Buy foods that are certified to ensure farmers get a fair wage and food is grown sustainably such as Fairtrade products and SRP certified rice.

  • Avoid products containing palm oil including so-called sustainably sourced.
  • Avoid products in lots of packaging. Visit our ‘Think about packaging’ page for more tips.
  • Heavily processed foods and drink usually mean a higher carbon footprint.

  • Drink tap water or squash instead of bottled drinks.
  • Try not to eat too much.
  • Visit the HEALabel website – a fantastic website for information about the impacts of individual foods on health, environment, animals and workers.
  • Learn more from Sustain