Sunday, 17 January 2021

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Better food, better life: contributing to saving the planet

World Food Day 2016 - Image

This year, ‘climate is changing, food and agriculture must too’ is the main theme of World Food Day, celebrated on 16 October. Production, transport, and storage of food conditions must be done in respect of the environment. This is essentially the responsibility of governments and the private sector. However, we can all contribute in our daily lives to these changes.

Responsible consumption, eating, and conservation of food are not only about improving our health, but also about taking action towards saving the planet that feeds us.

For instance, did you know that livestock is responsible for two thirds of greenhouse gas emissions? The United Nations, with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), need to work with farmers in order to reduce the environmental impact of their work. By lowering meat consumption, they can contribute to this effort.

Are you afraid of a lack of protein? From time to time you can replace your meat and eggs with lentils. Pulses are an excellent source of protein and they keep well for a long time. If you would like some inspiration, find some recipes here.

Furthermore, fish resources are plummeting, so for those who like to eat fish, you could choose the kind that comes from sustainable fisheries that respect the environment. A sustainable fishing label is now increasingly easy to find. According to the FAO, 7 out of the 10 most important fish species are on the brink of complete extinction.

In terms of fruit and vegetables, it’s more sustainable to go for shorter supply chains, and local and seasonal resourced food. As well as this, don’t be put off by misshaped fruit and vegetables. They may not look as good, but they taste the same.

If you’re hesitating between two products, choose the one with the least packaging. Also, in order to decrease the amount of plastic waste, use a reusable or a recyclable bag, or even a wicker basket.

Prepare your meals in advance and make a list before going to the shops to avoid impulsive buys that end up in the bin too often, and freeze the meals that you won’t eat right away. Up to one third of food, worldwide, goes off or is thrown away before being eaten. 

Do not switch on a half empty dish-washer, and avoid rinsing the dishes before putting them in because it is a waste of water.

Finally, in order to use less plastic at work, invest in a re-usable water bottle, and a mug for tea and coffee. Small gestures make a big impact.

For more information on the International Food Day go to FAO, and check out the essential Lazy Peron's Guide to Saving the World

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