The CCC has rightly pointed out that agriculture in this country and around the world produces a huge proportion of the world's greenhouse gases. The food we eat and how it's produced is a real issue for carbon...
Luckily there are a number of simple and practical ways to have a lower carbon diet -
- Stop wasting food. Food waste is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.
- Eat less meat and dairy products, as of all foods, they are responsible for the highest carbon in feed, rearing and transport.
- Switch to a more plant-based protein, some or all of the time. This can include fish or white meat on occasion.
- Make a switch to organic produce, as budget and availability permit. This reduces demand for food grown with harmful agri-chemicals
- Try to eat more with the seasons, and avoid imported food miles on year-round produce.
- Grow your own fruit and veg, or use a local food box scheme, especially from a farm direct.
- Where possible avoid plastic packaging and bags. Recycle an reuse containers, and buy items in their natural state.
Do I need to be a Vegan?
Many young people are now vegetarian or vegan and there is no doubt that a non meat and dairy based diet has a low carbon footprint. The main role of Dulwich Net Zero is to encourage and support the community to 'go zero' and ignoring what we eat or indeed focusing too much on what we eat is not helpful. Awareness of the issue is important and to seek to go in the right direction is what we are about. Finding alternatives to meat and dairy products is a good start but going Vegan is not the only solution.
Should I not buy food from abroad?
Food miles is an issue for many. Food imported by air has a hugely higher footprint than food imported by container, even though the container is a high polluter it has a reasonably low footprint per kg. Buying food that is locally grown and in season seems a sensible move however this is not always practical. Look for air freight labels on food and decide.
How can I avoid the carbon footprint of what I eat?
Unless you are within walking distance of a plot of land to grow all your own food then it is hard to be 'net zero'. Reducing food waste is the best place to start. Next is to increase your interest in locally grown and seasonal foods, while at the same time reducing the proportion of meat and dairy in your diet.
How can Dulwich Net Zero help me reduce the carbon footprint of my diet?
Overtime we hope that our forum and meetings will attract local solutions to solve this issue. But for now, increasing your awareness of where your food comes from, how it is produced, reducing your meat and dairy intake and cutting down on waste is the best start you can make.