Did you know Australia is currently number 5 in the world rankings of the highest ecological footprint.
What does this mean? We are consuming a large majority of the global resources. This places a huge amount of pressure on global food systems. We must learn to produce more food with less input.
So how can we achieve this? The answer relies heavily upon sustainable energy and the ‘bigger picture’ however, how about doing your bit by selecting more sustainable food.
FACT: In Australia we waste 3 million tonnes worth of food per year. That’s equivalent to $5 Billion thrown away every year!
Ideas to help you choose Sustainable Foods(and make you feel good!)...
1. Organic Produce
Grown without the use of synthetic chemicals, fertilisers, food irradiation or genetically modified ingredients, organic produce can help to reduce soil erosion and degradationTo be certified organic the product must pass standard criteria over a three year process - look to see if the product has a ‘certified organic’ symbol.
2. Produce in season
By purchasing produce that is in season you get the freshest and best tasting foods, at much lower prices. Buying in season produce increases the variety in your diet – providing your body with a wide range of nutrients, very beneficial to your health. In season produce also reduces the impact on the environment as it reduces the energy required for storage in cool rooms and imports.
3. Locally grown food
Buy your produce from local suppliers. How about shopping at your local Farmers Market where you can meet the farmer who is working hard to produce delicious fresh food for you? This reduces the distance, food needs to travel in order to get from paddock to plate. Less transport = less nasty pollution.
4. Animal versus Plants
Animal foods require more resources than plant foods to produce. The larger the animal, the bigger it’s footprint on the environment. Large animals (cattle and sheep) are less efficient at converting feed to food, produce more waste and omit more greenhouse gasses. Protein from smaller animals (poultry and kangaroo) is a more sustainable choice. However, fresh vegetables, cereals and legumes have the lowest impact on the environment. Why not try reducing your meat intake and replacing it with some high protein plant sources? For example our Organic Australian Quinoa!
5. Dietary variety to support biodiversity
Eating a variety of foods not only assists in eating a wide variety of nutrients but also supports crop biodiversity. This can safeguard against damage from pests and climatic events which may affect some crops. For example, growing mostly corn would be a problem if pests were introduced that attack only corn crops.
FACT: The average household throws away $600 worth of food each year
6. Minimally processed and packaged
When buying in bulk you help the environment by lowering the energy that is used to package your food. Reducing packaging can greatly reduce the waste in our environment. Try joining a co-op where you can order all your produce in bulk? Or visit us at the markets where we sell from bulk and individually package the amount you want.
7. Support Fair Trade
Fair trade aims to protect the working conditions and local sustainability of farmers and workers in developing countries. Fair trade requires companies to pay sustainable prices in order to protect against the weakest producers and enable them to have more control over their own lives. Try our Organic Fair trade coffee from Sacred Grounds!
FACT: 75% of landfill is recyclable or compostable!
We all know that actions speak louder than words, so what are we doing to help the environment? Read more on part 2 of this blog..."Reducing our carbon footprint" coming soon.