Food For Thought

When we think of ‘sustainability’, we may think of pollution, plastic and problems of waste.

The food we eat on a daily basis may not be an immediate consideration in the grand scheme of things. In fact, we have become somewhat disconnected to the entire journey of our food. We can walk into any supermarket and access exotic foods from all over the world, any time of the year without a second thought to how they got there.

#courgettegate of 2017 - the nationwide shortage of courgettes - may seem like a distant memory, but it highlighted just how vulnerable our food supply can be in the face of extremities.

Our global food system is vastly more complex than we perhaps comprehend and it is inextricably linked to various environmental issues. Food sustainability will be a key challenge in the face of climate change.

So, what are some the issues?

Pollution: From chemical fertiliser and industrial farming to the storage and transportation of food all over the world, our global food system consumes a vast amount of energy (as well as water and land) and is responsible for a massive amount of pollution. It is also a large climate change contributor, responsible for around one third of all greenhouse gas emissions.

Plastic: Packaging plays a key role in keeping food fresh and safe when transporting from field to food retailer, and all the stops in between. Packaging can also help to prolong the shelf life of food, in turn reducing food waste. (Having said this, packaging has also been found to increase food waste).

We are no strangers to the issues of single-use plastics and some extremely unnecessary uses of it (we will look further into this in our ‘Plastics’ section); even worse when you consider that packaging items from food and drinks are some of the most commonly found marine litter items in Europe.

Problem of waste: Food loss and waste represents a significant waste of land, resources, water and energy. Food waste is also responsible for a large amount of methane emissions when it rots in landfill, contributing to climate change.

The irony of all the above is that food and crop production is vulnerable to the effects of climate change such as floods, droughts and extreme weather. On top of this, a growing global population makes food security an even more pressing issue.

According to scientists, our global food system is broken.

So, what can we do to help fix it? 

  1. More plants, less meat 

  2. Sustainable or no palm oil 

  3. No or recyclable plastic 

  4. Local where possible

  5. Seasonal  

  6. Organic 

  7. Reduce food waste 

  8. Selecting sustainably sourced ingredients

When trying to adhere to all of the above it can be a little confusing. After all, it is extremely rare to find foods that tick all of the above boxes. For example, vegan baked goods may contain palm oil, or organic produce may be protected in plastic to prevent ‘contamination’ by non-organic produce - this speaks to a wider issue in our broken food system. 

If you are able to, growing your own fruit, vegetables and herbs would be the most sustainable option. However, in reality a small percentage of us will have the space, time or patience to do this.

Either way, you can make a positive difference by selecting more sustainable options when doing your weekly shop(s). 

From pollution and plastic to problems of waste, not to mention damage to soil and water from unsustainable farming methods, we will be unravelling the complex mix of ingredients that can make up a sustainable food system. We will be sending out a series of articles about each of the 8 points listed above, to help you to understand why each is an issue worth considering. You can then make up your own mind when it comes to the trade-offs! (for example, organic vs. unpackaged).  

We will also be featuring some of our favourite brands offering sustainable foods, snacks and foodboxes. Keep reading for our favourite vegan snack box!

 
 

More plants, less meat

Vegan already seems to be the buzzword of 2019.

Gregg’s sausage rolls caused quite the stir, McDonald’s introduced a vegan Happy Meal, and high street chains are trying to get a slice of the vegan pie by making sure they cater to the rising number of plant-based diners in the UK (see more here).

Even Gordon Ramsay, notorious anti-vegan celebrity chef, has developed an entire vegan menu!

Plant-based food is more accessible than ever as supermarket shelves are bursting with meat-free alternatives, plant-based ‘milks’ and vegan on-the-go meals.

The Economist is calling 2019 the Year of the Vegan - with 3 million people estimated to take the plunge this year.

What may have influenced such a shift in dietary preference?

Source: https://www.livekindly.co

Source: https://www.livekindly.co

You may not want to take a giant leap and completely overhaul your diet overnight; but you can take small steps to improve your health and the health of the planet through the food choices you make each day.

The following documentaries are a good place to start for the health and environmental benefits of reducing your meat consumption, available either online or on Netflix!

Over 200,000 people have signed up for Veganuary in 2019, the online campaign supporting people wishing to adopt a plant-based diet.

It’s not too late to join them! You can sign up here.

For a lot of people, finding great vegan chocolate and snacks is a challenge. Vegan Tuck Box (below) have you covered, with a range of vegan snacks delivered directly to your door!

 
 

"Vegan Tuck Box was formed by two passionate and long term vegans, Chrissy Leyland and Kelly Slade, to help their fellow vegans overcome the challenges of achieving a more ethical and compassionate lifestyle without having to give up tasty and fulfilling treats"

  • 100% vegan

  • supporting vegan outreach and animal sanctuaries with your help. 10p from every subscription box sold is donated to these causes each month

  • packaging kept to a minimum and made from recycled or reused materials

  • postcards are printed on FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) paper and printed with vegetable inks

  • supporting vegan businesses, helping them to launch their products and reach new markets

  • offices are powered by solar panels

 
 
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Use discount code "klookerbox" for £1 off a vegan letterbox

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