Have you ever thought about the environmental impact of the food that we eat? During the month of May Aon will be promoting Green Eating. Our food and our eating habits can have a detrimental impact on the environment. By understanding the relationship between our food and our planet we can all take steps to eat in a more sustainable way.
The food system overall – including farming and grazing, transportation, packaging and feed production- accounts for 37% of global greenhouse gas emissions. The livestock industry accounts for most of these emissions and is one of the top contributors to the most serious environmental problems such as land and water degradation and deforestation.
Our eating habits have a big impact on the environment. When food is shipped thousands of miles across the world and requires around the clock temperature-controlled storage, it leads to a large carbon footprint. By reducing the amount of meat that we consume and purchasing locally sourced sustainable food, we can better protect our planet.
Another critical issue with the food system is that of waste. According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) almost a third of all food produced globally is lost or goes to waste. With over 820 million people going hungry every single day this is a tragic waste of valuable resources.
On the one hand we have food loss, which refers to any food that is discarded, incinerated or otherwise disposed of along the food chain from harvest, slaughter or catch up to and excluding the retail sale. And on the other hand, we have food waste, which results from the actions of retailers, food service providers or consumers. The reasons for food waste include:
– Fresh produce that does not adhere to shape, size or colour requirements are discarded in the supply chain
– Foods that are close to, at or beyond their “best-before” date are discarded by retailers or consumers
– Large quantities of edible food are discarded when they are unused or leftover in household kitchens or food establishments
During the month of May let us do our bit for sustainable food and eating habits that are good for us and our planet. Here are some tips on for Green Eating month:
- Going vegetarian one day a week with some creative meat-free recipes, some more recipes here
- Make an effort to purchase foods locally and try seasonal food
- Try planting fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices in your garden or balcony
- Take the waste-free lunch challenge by reducing disposable packaging and reusing cutlery
- Remember to love unusually shaped or coloured fruit and vegetables too!
- Be realistic, plan in advance and only buy and cook the food that you need
- Refrigerate or freeze leftovers and incorporate them into a meal on another day
Author: John Remigus, Energy and Sustainability Lead EMEA