Food accounts for around 1/5 of all UK greenhouse gas emissions, with impacts at each stage of the food chain eg heated greenhouses, airfreighted food, frozen storage, plastic packaging, cooking,waste and disposal to landfill creating methane – a powerful greenhouse gas. Currently 1/3 of food bought in the UK is not eaten, which is a waste of money as well as resources.
What can I do?
- Start to consider where your food comes from, how it has been produced, and its impacts on the planet.
- Buy organic whenever possible.
- Buy more local produce, in season, and try growing some of your own fruit & veg.
- Aim to eat one or two less meat-based meals per week than you currently do.
- Write a shopping list and cook the right size portions.
- Avoid using peat in the garden – peat wetlands are one of the best carbon sinks on the planet and there are plenty of peat free alternatives.
- Visit www.linlithgrow.org.uk for further information.
Does it matter what I eat ?
This report from DEFRA helps to show us that there are a number of factors to consider when choosing what food we buy. Looking at Food Miles (how far food travels to get to your plate) is only one factor to be considered. Water is one of the next biggest issues, with the source and resources of water in some Mediterranean countries being depleted at an alarming rate. Buying out of season food also drives large impacts on the energy needed to grow, chill, and store food. So take some time to do a little more research into the food you buy. Is it ethically or ecologically produced?.
So our recommendation could be summarised as : local, organic, seasonal, vegetable, less. Try to buy produce grown locally, using minimum pesticides and fertilizers. Eat food that is seasonal and fresh and also try to introduce 1 or 2 meals a week that don’t contain meat. Doing so will improve your health, have less impact on the environment, help with local economies and reduce our dependance on oil.
Food & Gardening sub-group aims :
To promote awareness of how food & gardening can be used to shrink your carbon footprint, and help people to do so, whilst also building a stronger local economy and community.
• Spring: public talks on grow your own, composting, local food, gardening & climate change and wildlife & climate change
• Monthly online grow your own newsletters
• Spring creation of website www.linlithgrow.org.uk
• May 23rd: stall at farmers market in support of National Biodiversity Week, with 500 packets of edible seeds to give away
• May 28th: edible seed & seedling swap at the LCC AGM
* Aug 15th: open garden tours
• Sept 19th: Harvest Feast at Bonnytoun Farm in partnership with the Slow Food group.
* Nov – Bare Rooted Fruit Tree promotion at Farmers Market.
* Jan – Updated Linlithgrow website, with more sections.
* Feb 20th – Local Food Consultation – public debate on what needs to happe n to our food systems.
www.linlithgrow.org.uk – our own website
www.slowfood.org.uk – Slow Food – Linlithgow
http://fifediet.co.uk/ – The Excellent Fife Diet
www.nourishscotland.ning.com – Scottish Network of Sustainable Food groups.
campaign to reduce food waste – a third of what we buy is thrown away
Community Recycling Network for Scotland
Faqs on Community Composting
European project supporting adult learning via Community Composting (some differing regulations apply to Scotland)
local show garden in 2007, with links to websites giving advice on reducing carbon footprint via the garden
Slides from Dunbar Conference. Last one is shocking. Mixed Health stats for Scotland.