Don't play with food – learn how to eat sustainably

Learn what sustainable food is and how you can make small changes to support sustainable food sources and begin sustainable eating.

Updated 24 June 2019

Don't play with food – learn how to eat sustainably

It is easier than you think to make the change to sustainable eating. Buying and eating eco-friendly produce is the first step and if you understand how to eat sustainably you can make a huge, positive difference to the environment. Keen to begin? Take a look at our food sustainability facts and discover how you can reduce the negative impact of your food choices.

Keep leftover scraps and check if you can compost them. Start a compost bin in your garden and in a few months you could have perfect soil for growing – read more in our article on how to compost at home.

What is sustainable food?

Although there is not a legal food sustainability definition, there are two easy ways to understand what sustainable food is.

  1. Sustainable food should protect our planet’s plant and animal diversity.
  2. Sustainable food should care for the welfare of farmed livestock.

Why is sustainable food important?

There are two major reasons we should try to buy and eat more sustainable food. These are:

  1. Sustainable food sources contribute to sustainable livelihoods both in the UK and in countries we import from. This creates a better lifestyle for those providing our food.
  2. Sustainable food sources help protect the environment by aiming to avoid damage and waste of the planet’s natural resources.

How to eat sustainably in five easy steps

Here are five easy changes you can make to buy and eat more sustainable food:

  1. Buy locally sourced and in-season foods. Buying fruits and vegetables bought in season and locally sourced British meats minimises the energy required to transport and store your food. It also is a great step to help our local economy.
  2. Look for the Fairtrade mark. Fairtrade certified products guarantee a fair deal for the people who produce the food we eat.
  3. Grow your own food. A lot of fruits and vegetables are easier than you may realise to grow yourself. Starting a veggie garden or investing in an allotment could save energy and natural resources in mass production. It may even help to vary your diet!
  4. Switch to plant-based meals. Our demand for animal-based products uses a large amount of natural resources. Making plant-based meals a focus of your diet, even just once or twice a week, can help reduce the impact you have on the planet.
  5. Don’t waste “ugly” fruits and veggies. All the way along the food production process, a lot of food is wasted because it’s not “pretty” or uniform enough. They’ll still taste as good though so try to avoid wasting food purely because it looks wonky.

With this information, you now not only understand what sustainable food is but also the changes you can make to help protect the environment. Use our top tips to make changes to your lifestyle today and help grow a better future for your children.

Originally published 2 April 2019