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Healthier plate, healthier planet

How do you make decisions about the foods you eat? 

Is it taste? Health? Budget? 

Maybe a lifestyle choice: veganism, peganism, vegetarianism, or perhaps a strict training regime? 

As a population, we’ve never been more conscious about the foods we consume. And with such an abundance of gastronomical delights available, our palates have broadened. 

Previously coveted foods such as exotic fruits and vegetables are easily snapped up at your local supermarket. Health stores are opening faster than you can say ‘matcha’, and online recipe boxes are making home-cooking a convenient and enjoyable experience. But the scale of our food production, consumption, and inevitably, waste, comes with consequences.

Estimations say that by 2050, the world’s population will increase by 34% to approx 9 billion.

Experts say a growing number of our population will be wealthier, and more urban, meaning the demand for quality food will rise too. 

With more mouths to feed, food production methods must change to protect the environment, minimising the impact on our climate, water, soil, and biodiversity. 

Thankfully, ethical and sustainable food production is becoming more of a priority. The European Commission is assessing how to lower the impact of food production and limit waste throughout the food supply chain. Sustainable food production is even being taught in UK schools as part of KS3 Geography, and as people start to make more conscious food choices, the source of their food is becoming more of an influencing factor in their decisions.

What is sustainable food production? 

Sustainable food production is essentially a method of production which uses non-polluting processes and systems: a system that is safe for workers, natural resources, and economically efficient and does not compromise future generations.

While the food and beverage industries are tweaking their supply chain strategies, you can start making a difference as an individual by opting for more sustainable produce too. 

The upside is of course that, sustainable, fairtrade and organic foods not only have less impact on the environment but are said to be healthier, often more nutritious, and tastier.

The WWF recommends the following six tips to help you eat more sustainably:

  • Eat more plants
  • Eat a variety of food
  • Waste less food
  • Moderate meat intake
  • Buy food that meets a credible certified standard
  • Eat fewer processed foods high in salt, fat, and sugar

Further considerations to lessen the impact on the environment include:

  • Reducing waste
  • Optimising packaging use
  • Using materials that have a lower environmental impact

Simply taking the time to research the source of your food, the farmers, the production process, and the journey it takes to get to your plate will help us all make our collective difference to the environment. Make the conscious decision to source sustainably and continue to enjoy an abundance of global variety in your diet without harming the earth’s ecosystems and climate. 

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