‘Changing what we eat, what we waste, and
how we produce food can make a real difference’
Earlier this month, the UK government hosted an intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. They reported that the food system is having a massive effect on our planet, driving climate breakdown and species extinction.
Three easy fixes can improve our health and bring about a fast, effective and long-lasting reduction in greenhouse emissions
1. Switch to a sustainable diet - low in meat and dairy
2. Buy locally produced food – shorter supply chain; smaller food production carbon footprint; supporting local jobs and our local economy
3. Reduce food waste – plan your shop; buy only what you need; create a store cupboard; leftover recipes
‘Diets that are good for the planet are good for people’
1. Switch to a sustainable diet
This involves changing our demand for foods that result in high levels of greenhouse gas emissions to produce, or to deliver to us, where we live.
Shifting demand from animal protein to plant protein and buying more locally produced food can rapidly reduce the carbon footprint of our food.
‘Reduce as much greenhouse gas production as possible, as soon as possible’
1. Keep current livestock animal numbers at their current levels and plan to reduce number from now onwards
2. ‘Worst-First-approach’ - Reduce our demand for livestock products by eliminating or reducing our consumption of foods with the highest emissions first e.g. Beef; Cow Milk; Pig meat; Chicken meat and so on
3. ‘Best Available Food’ - Replace livestock products with the ‘best available food’. These would be plant-sourced food that optimise greenhouse gas reduction, health benefits and ecosystem restoration with the removal of livestock.
Three Step Strategy for rapid greenhouse gas reductions (Helen Harwatt, Climate Policy 2019)
Lots of people have already made the animal to plant protein shift and the food industry is creating plant-based protein products that resemble animal-sourced protein foods. Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat, two plant-based protein producers recently achieved the United Nations Champions of the Earth award in 2018.
Plant based proteins include dishes rich in beans, lentils, peas, grains, fruits, vegetables and some nuts and seeds.
2. Buy locally produced food
For every £1 spent on local and seasonal produce under the Soil Association’s Food for Life Scheme, there is £3 return in social, economic and environmental value that is primarily delivered locally.
Locally grown food often tastes better and is good for you because it hasn’t lost any of it’s nutrition, sugars or it’s vitality on the short trip from field to plant.
Local growers who can sell locally are able to cut out the middleman and support their family and community doing the work they love.
Agricultural landscapes can provide habitats for a wide range of birds and wildlife.
Examples of Local Shops, Farmers Markets, Vegetable Box Schemes, include:
Penicuik Storehouse; Macleod Organics; The Farm Shop; Whitmuir Organic Farm; and Balerno, or Peebles Farmers’ Market.
3. Reduce Food Waste – Making Things Last Strategy
‘Scottish Government aims to reduce our food waste by 33% by 2025’
Hard to believe, but we waste about a third of all the food we produce for human consumption. Also, the food system accounts for between 25 to 30% of total greenhouse gas emissions
When food waste ends up in landfill, it generates even more emissions in the form of methane, as it rots and breaks down.
Household waste in Scotland represents 2.9% of Scotland’s carbon footprint.
Discover The Nation’s Best Leftover Food Recipes
Love Food Hate Waste
This website is dedicated to helping us reduce food waste. From providing an easy waste-free, and fabulous, Christmas dinner through to storing our food so it lasts longer.
There's a wonderful ‘Find a Leftover Food Recipe' search tool that ensures we never have to throw any food or ingredients away again.
Penicuik Carbon Challenge will be running a series of Zero Food Waste Kitchen Sessions
during 2021 and beyond.
Why not come along to our kitchen workshops and join like minded people who want to work together to cook healthy meals, save money and energy and reduce food waste.
We are looking forward to cooking Community Meals by using surplus food from local supermarkets and we invite anyone and everyone to join us.