Sustainable eating is about choosing foods that have a healthy impact on the environment and our bodies and a positive impact on the welfare of workers and animals.
Everything we consume has a ‘food print’; the accumulation of consequential actions taken to get our food from farm to fork.
Industrial food production has detrimental effects on the soil, atmosphere, and water supplies, therefore, the food print of these products is high. Reducing our food print on an individual level through eating sustainably could help the environment and those involved in food production.
The WWF Livewell diet outlines a general set of principles we should follow to eat sustainably:
Eat More Plants
The livestock industry produces nearly 15% of all man-made greenhouse gas emissions. With global meat consumption drastically increasing, it is apparent that we need to change our diets by consuming more plants and less animal products.
Waste Less Food
Food waste is a significant problem. It is estimated that 30% of the food produced is wasted, causing severe repercussions for the environment but can be easily avoided. To reduce waste, try to freeze leftovers or foods you can’t eat while it’s fresh. Also, where possible, buy loose produce so you can select the exact amount that you need.
Moderate Meat Consumption
Take the “less meat, better meat” approach to reduce your food print. Cut down on meat consumption and when choosing products choose the pasture-raised rather than factory farmed options. Factory farmed can be inhumane as well as having drastic effects on the climate.
Choose Sustainable Palm Oil
Unsustainable palm oil is not only a large contributor to climate change but also responsible for large-scale deforestation, putting wildlife in danger. However, eliminating palm oil from produce could have inadvertent consequences as alternatives could be worse for the environment. Therefore, look for products that contain RSPO certified sustainable palm oil.
Make Responsible Seafood Choices
The majority of fish stocks are overfished which greatly impacts the biodiversity of the ocean. A study conducted by an international team of researchers shockingly predicted that we could have fishless oceans by the year 2048 (Worm et al., 2006). However, seafood that is responsibly produced can benefit people, nature, and the climate. Therefore, try to eat a variety of species from well managed sources, choosing lower carbon emission seafood and eating lower in the food chain.
Grow Your Own Food
Growing your own fresh food in your garden, allotment or windowsill ensures you’re consuming zero carbon food print produce. What’s better than fresh, home-grown produce straight from the garden?
Rethink Your Shopping List
Bulk buy, choose minimally processed foods and try to have more plant-based meals. These choices would result in less waste, packaging and are more environmentally friendly.
By adopting these simple changes to how we buy and consume our food we could have a positive impact on the environment as well as the people and animals involved. Why not try this emissions calculator to see how much your meal is affecting our planet? Emissions Calculator
A few environmental things from Susan's favorate page
Environmentally friendly washing up
Plastic free soap
Refillable coffee capsules
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