The way we grow and consume food has a huge impact on the environment. Farming animals, cultivating crops and producing dairy all release carbon emissions into the atmosphere and have historically caused serious deforestation. But, we need to eat to survive and the number of mouths to feed on this planet is increasing daily.
While we are unlikely to solve the world hunger crisis single-handedly, there are things we can do to be responsible with the food we consume. It is the responsibility of every individual who is in a position to eat responsibly to do so. With a combined effort, we might just be able to bring the planet back from the brink of destruction.
Cut Down Your Meat Intake
This doesn’t mean you have to become a full-blown vegetarian or vegan, but if everyone could reduce their meat consumption to just once or twice a week, you will make a huge difference. The meat farming industry is one of the worst offenders when it comes to polluting the planet. In some countries, livestock farming contributes to around 34% of all the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. If you are going to eat meat, make sure you are buying ethically sourced, good quality meat. It is worth the extra cost.
Produce Your Own Food
This won’t be possible for everyone, but if you have a big enough garden, you can easily grow your own fruit and vegetables. Potatoes, courgettes, tomatoes, green beans, lettuce, and carrots are all easy to grow and taste so much better when they come from your own garden. You could even buy some chickens and enjoy fresh, free range eggs every day. The more space and money you are willing to invest into being self-sufficient, the more you will be doing to consume responsibly.
Plan Your Meals and Waste Less
The amount of food that goes to waste is shocking. Roughly one third of all of the food produced around the world for human consumption goes to waste every year. That’s around 1.3 billion tonnes of food waste. As you can imagine, this is a huge waste of resources that could be put to better use in other areas. If you are guilty of buying food, forgetting about it, and eventually throwing it out, it’s time to change that habit. Plan your meals in advance and only buy what you need for the week. That way you can limit your wastage and save money while you’re at it!
Eat Organic Food as Much as Possible
Organic food sounds a lot fancier than it actually is – it is simply food that is grown without the use of pesticides. Although organic options tend to be more expensive, the benefit to the planet outweighs the inflated cost. Pesticides are incredibly harmful to bees and we are in a bee crisis right now. Bees are absolutely essential for the healthy functioning of the eco-system. They pollinate flowers and plants and in doing so allow them to reproduce and grow. Do your bit and help save the bees from extinction.
Avoid Buying Food With Excess Packaging
There is a war going on against plastic at the moment and you should get involved. Plastic is one of the worst materials for the environment as it does not biodegrade and it is found all too often wrapped around or even inside the bodies of poor animals. Take your own paper bags to the grocery store and use them to carry your loose, fresh produce. Look for any ways you can to reduce the amount of plastic covering your food.