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Do you know the carbon footprint of your daily or weekly food intake? Some of the most common foods in our diet have a big impact on the planet, so it’s a good idea to make the switch to sustainable food. Here we’ll outline how you can alter your diet to make the most of our resources by making sustainable food choices.

What is sustainable food?

There isn’t currently a legal definition of sustainable food. However, sustainable foods should protect the planet’s plant and animal diversity as well as the welfare of farmed animals.

What is sustainable production?

When it comes to sustainable food production, there are two main focuses. Sustainable food production should:

  • Contribute to sustainable livelihoods (both here in the U.K. and in producer countries of imported foods).
  • Avoid damage and waste of the planet’s natural resources.

Six tips for how to eat sustainably

There are six main ways that you can make sustainable food choices. If you want to make the move to sustainable food, you can:

  1. Reduce, reuse and recycle:

    This includes food and packaging. In doing so, you can help save the energy and natural resources used to produce and dispose of it.

  2. Buy local, seasonal foods:

    Fruits and vegetables are seasonal, so they’re imported when they cannot be produced here. Buying locally produced, seasonal food means we minimise the energy required to transport and store the food, as well as helping our local economy.

  3. Choose Fairtrade-certified products:

    These are foods and drinks that guarantee a fair deal for producers in less advantaged producer countries.

  4. Grow your own:

    There are many foods that you can either grow in your own back garden or a local allotment. This not only helps save energy and natural resources in mass production but gives you a great sense of satisfaction when you dish up home-grown meals.

  5. Eat more plant-based meals:

    The mass production of animal-based products uses a large amount of natural resources. By switching to plant-based meals just a couple of days a week, you can help the impact you are having on the planet. Take a look at our guide to switching to a plant-based diet here.

  6. Buy the “ugly” fruits and vegetables:

    Did you know that a lot of the food produced in the U.K. goes to waste because it is not “pretty” enough to be put on supermarket shelves? They don’t taste any different, so why not buy the wobbly, bumpy, funny shaped vegetables instead of letting them go to waste?

Now you understand what sustainable food is and how to make sustainable food choices, you can begin to make changes. If we all make little changes to eat more sustainably, we can ensure natural resources will be protected.