sustainable development: If you’ve been paying attention to the shifting food climate over the last few years, you’ve definitely heard the keyword “sustainability” spoken multiple times.
But what does it mean to have a sustainable food system?
The answer is complicated and involves many moving components. Still, at its core, a sustainable development of the food system model promotes public health, farmer and producer economic health, and fair treatment of the planet, animals, and people.
A sustainable development of the food system also refers to a strategy for preserving the planet’s resources for future generations. It protects these resources from being depleted. So, why hasn’t sustainability been accomplished yet? Perhaps it’s because there aren’t enough people who know how to do it.
Consumers, food producers, and politicians can collaborate in ten ways to make the food system more sustainable.
The cost of moving food around the world is measured in dollars and carbon emissions. When you buy food from local farms, you help to support your community’s economy while also reducing your environmental effect. Win-win.
Tip: If you really want to cut down on food miles, start growing your own herbs. It’s simple, cost-effective, and long-term.
Learning to cook more skilfully — and more regularly — at home is a critical component of sustainability since it promotes improved consumer health. People who have control over their eating can cut out elements like added sweets and fats. As a result, the public is healthier.
Design menus to follow seasons
Eaters like fruits and vegetables all year, which is one of the reasons foods are imported from all over the world: to satisfy consumer appetites. This, however, is not a viable option. However, if you stick to seasonal food, you’ll be able to buy practically everything locally — and ensure that your diet has more diversity throughout the year. This practice will assist you in lowering your carbon footprint while also improving your health.
Rotate crop varieties regularly.
Farmers who grow the same crops over and over deplete the soil’s nutrients, rendering it nearly unusable and necessitating the use of chemical fertilisers. However, there is a simple, natural, and time-tested way to avoid this. To maintain the soil healthy, farmers can grow various crops every few years. Consumers simply need to get on board with varying their diets.
If all of the food produced from now until 2050 were combined together, it would equal the amount of food consumed over the previous 8,000 years. Clearly, as the food sector expands, so will its environmental impact. To mitigate this effect, customers can try to throw out less food at home and make the most of their purchases. Businesses, supermarkets, and industry should all aim to contribute food to charity or other organisations instead of throwing it away.
Tip: It’s critical that food not be thrown out because it contributes to the problem of carbon pollution since rotting food in landfills produces methane, a greenhouse gas. As a result, make sure that you compost your meals.
Support Fair Trade
Foods with the Fair Trade label have been produced in a way that assures that workers and the environment are treated fairly. As a result, if you’re committed to the sustainable development movement, you should choose Fair Trade items wherever feasible to help the appropriate suppliers.
Tip: If you genuinely want to contribute to a sustainable development of the food system, eat more plant-based foods, cut less on meat, or attempt a vegetarian or vegan diet.
Consider food’s actual cost.
Food’s “real cost” refers to the frequently hidden environmental and social consequences of large food production. Unsustainable foods may be less expensive at the store, but they have a higher “true cost” in terms of their detrimental impact on people and the environment. It’s critical to keep this in mind when shopping for food.
Tip: If supporting small grocers, farms, and primary producers contributes to more sustainable development, why not avoid the vast supermarkets?
The Netherlands is a small country, but it exports the second-largest amount of food after the United States in terms of value. How? The Dutch have made investments in long-term agriculture. They become creative, utilising indoor farming techniques to maximise every square inch of available space. They also avoid using the majority of chemical pesticides in order to maintain their soil fruitful.
Vertical farming is an excellent example of indoor agriculture.
Avoid additives, pesticides and go organic.
Synthetic pesticides, fertilisers, and antibiotics are harmful to the environment and animals. Still, they are commonly employed by primary producers and livestock farmers in conventional farming to ensure that food and animals develop as quickly as possible, allowing them to generate a profit. When feasible, choose organically grown, additive-free food and grass-fed meats when you have the choice. This should be plainly indicated on the container, but if it isn’t, ask an assistant.
Be willing to forgo convenience.
It’s not easy to support a sustainable development of the food economy. When you commit to buying locally produced and Fair-Trade foods, as well as sticking to other sustainable development principles, you may find that these conscientious decisions cost you time and money. But, in the end, you’re working toward a higher goal: ensuring that future generations inherit a healthy planet.
Contributing to a sustainable development of the food system may necessitate a personal investment on your side, but the rewards outweigh the costs. With a few simple lifestyle changes, you might significantly impact how the food system evolves in the future decades.