Planet Friendly Food
Food is hugely important. And yummy! Good food helps us to grow well and be active. It plays an important part in family and community life, whether that is eating dinner all together, baking a cake or another treat to celebrate a birthday or other special occasion, or getting together with friends. Food can make us feel great.
But the food we choose to eat can also have a big impact on our environment. Did you know that, globally, food systems account for about one quarter (25%) of all manmade greenhouse emissions? That’s more than global transport, all industry, and about the same as the production of electricity and heat.
Here are four great ways to change what we buy and eat that will reduce our contribution to climate change.
1. Throw less food away
Food waste is one of the biggest contributors to climate change, producing three times as much carbon as packaging waste. One-third of all food produced worldwide for human consumption never reaches our tables, wasting natural resources and energy and contributing 8% of total global greenhouse gas emissions. Food that ends up in landfill releases methane – which is 28 times more harmful than carbon dioxide – when it decomposes.
What can we do?
- Plan what to eat and only buy what is needed. Growing your own food has also been shown to reduce waste.
- Compost food.
- Use every scrap. Meat bones and veg peelings make a fantastic stock.
2. Eat seasonal food
‘Seasonal food’ is when fruit and vegetables are naturally available and at their best. While we all love strawberries, they only grow in the UK when the weather is warmer. If we want to eat strawberries in December, they will have come from somewhere far away such as Spain or even Peru. Eating seasonally reduces the amount of energy used to grow the food and less carbon dioxide is produced from fuel as food is not transported from far away.
What can we do?
- Be more in tune with the seasons and eat great, fresh produce when it’s at it’s best.
- Buy more British – buying what is grown in the UK will help to eat more seasonally.
3. Eat locally grown food
What counts as local? Well, there is no set definition or distance but as we know that the further food travels, the higher the ‘food miles, it makes sense to try and source our food as near to where we live as possible. Locally produced food does not have to be transported as far, is less likely to need storing and requires less packaging, reducing greenhouse gases emissions.
What can we do?
- Check out your local farmers market, farm shop, street market and support your local growers.
- Grow your own – you don’t get much more local than your own home!
- Challenge yourself to eat food sourced within 25 miles of where you live for a week.
4. Eat less meat
When we do our school visits, nearly every child giggles knowingly when we ask how cows contribute to climate change. But does reducing our meat consumption really have such a big impact? Eating a plant-based diet saves about 4 times more greenhouse gas emissions per person each year than recycling. Greenhouse gases are reduced because less transport is used, there is less methane from cows, sheep and other livestock, and fewer fertilizers are used.
What can we do?
- Reduce the amount of meat, especially red meat, which we eat. Being a vegan or vegetarian is not for everyone, but even cutting out meat once or twice a week would have a positive impact.
Remember – it’s not always possible to eat locally or seasonally for everyone all of the time. We are also not saying never eat meat. It’s about making informed choices when you can that are better for you (your wallet and your health) and for the environment.
We hope you enjoy trying all of the recipes below, and that making a change to what you eat is easier than you think. The recipes, contributed from some of Bath’s best loved foodies, will not only tickle your taste buds, but help put new, healthy eating habits into practice that are good for you, and the planet.
Owner Chef Henry shares his recipe for a soup that uses up leftovers and minimises waste after a Sunday roast!
Food blogger and Digital Marketing Consultant Sal Godfrey shares her favourite vegan recipe from her blog, Sal’s Kitchen.
Using ingredients locally sourced in Bath, this vegan and gluten free hummus makes a fabulous dip for flat breads and fresh raw veggies, or use it as a healthy spread.
An easy cookery activity to do with kids while talking to them about how our choices can impact our wonderful world. And the outcome – delicious healthy snack to enjoy together!
These vegan fritters are something a bit different for snack time as well as perfect finger food for socials.
This deliciously creamy and nourishing dish is all about discovering the joys of plant-based food.
Energy balls were a regular snack for Vicky during Veganuary and these by Deliciously Ella were simply, well, delicious!
Download the full recipe collection, find out how food and climate change are connected, and how what we eat and buy doesn’t have to cost the Earth.