COVID-19 changed many things. One of the biggest changes as well as challenges, was food. We've learnt much about food in 2020. Eating Sustainably in a post lockdown world will be different. We can make better choices to help protect our futures. Many now recognise that a Greener Future is key. Food is a big part of that. So what does it mean?
Use Your LOAF
Essentially, as we think about Eating Sustainably post lockdown, we need to use our LOAF.
Local, Organic, Avoid Intensive Farming produce, Fairtrade
Whilst for some, food choices such as organic may be too expensive, shopping in season and using local suppliers can often be cheaper. Any changes we can make to our shopping habits matter. When we shop, we vote with our money that this product is something we want and support. How we vote will have significant and serious implications on our future.
The value of shopping local has really been seen during our period of lockdown. Many local indepedent food shops started home delivery services and became a lifeline to their local communities. Supporting our local farmers and independent shops, ensuring they don't go out of business is clearly in our interests. Shopping local means our food miles are reduced and we are much more likely to shop in season, which also reduces are carbon emissions.
Organic farming is better for the environment. It produces less pollution, conserves water, reduces soil erosion, increases soil fertility and uses less energy. Pesticides and chemicals sprayed onto plants contaminate the soil, water supply and air. In some cases, they can still be present decades later.
Organic food is better for our health as it doesn’t contain traces of pesticides. Organic meat and dairy products don't contain antibiotics or other drugs, hormones or pesticides. Since organic food doesn’t contain artificial preservatives, it is usually fresher and tastes better. People with allergies to foods, chemicals or preservatives often find that symptoms lessen or go away when they eat only organics.
Avoid Intensive Farming
Intensive farming produces cheap produce financially, but at a high environmental cost. Intensive farms are big polluters. Land is cleared of trees on a massive scale to make way for grazing and this deforestation has a huge impact on our planets ability to process our carbon emissions. The UN and WHO are also now warning that the destruction of nature such as rainforests has serious risks for future pandemics such as COVID-19. Respecting nature and the balance of nature is key to our survival. Greenpeace is currently lobbying UK supermarkets not to buy meat from companies owned by Amazon destroyers, and this also includes soya in the meat and dairy supply chain.
Buying Fairtrade products is a direct way to help the world’s poor. As with supporting local farmers and shops, buying Fairtrade helps distribute wealth and means we are not left entirely in the hands of a few large corporations. Fairtrade is about paying the right price for a product. It can be the difference between farmers earning enough money to feed their families or not. It’s about decent working conditions and fair terms of trade. The products are less contaminated because they limit the use of harmful agrochemicals and many Fairtrade products are also organic. Visit the Fairtrade website for more information.
www.therealmealdeal.com has always been about encouraging the principals of Eating Sustainably and all the recipes list ingredients available as Organic or Fairtrade. It's clear that Eating Sustainably, matters more now than ever. If 2020 has taught us anything, it's that nature has the upper hand. We need to respect our environment and shop and eat responsibly. Our only option is a greener future.
If you want to learn more about the principals of Eating Sustainably, click here