The choices we make about the food we buy and eat have a massive impact on the climate. We know that this can be tricky, and sometimes it's hard to know the best thing to do. Here's some ideas to get you thinking though...
You can hear this week's sermon, from David Smith, below.
What Can I Do?
LOCAL - It would be great if we could all grow our own food, but we know that for many of us this isn't possible. One thing we can do is try to buy food that is grown or produced as close to home as possible. This reduces the miles it has to travel (called 'food miles') and therefore the carbon footprint. It also brings us into closer relationship with those around us responsible for producing food, and is often fresher and tastier! You can find lots more information (and labels to look out for) at www.lovebritishfood.co.uk.
ETHICAL - Trying to buy ethical food can often be a minefield, especially as it can be difficult to find out where food has come from or what has gone into it this is another good reason to buy local!). There are also a number of factors which need to be balanced, included fair wages for farmers and growers, use of pesticides, packaging and treatment of animals.
As a starter, you can look on packaging for the marks on the right which show that certain standards have been met. To take this further, have a look at www.ethicalconsumer.org. They rank brands, sellers and supermarkets so you can easily see which are the most ethical. Some of the results will probably surprise you!
SEASONAL - God created the world to work through the rhythm of the seasons, and we are the same. At the same time, food bought outside of its growing season in the UK has often travelled a long way, creating a larger carbon footprint. It's good for us to learn to wait and anticipate different foods at different times of year, and it means we'll enjoy it more when we do get it. For more information about what's available when, see www.eattheseasons.co.uk. There's a number of seasonal recipes on Ruth Valerio's blog here.
SLOW - Life is busy, and the temptation is often to grab quick, processed food that can be prepared and eaten on the go. Slowing down by choosing foods that take a bit longer to prepare and taking the time to enjoy eating them with others is better for our physical and mental health and a great way of living in relationship with others. Even on the busiest days, good, fresh food can still be prepared using a slow cooker. There's all sorts of recipes out there, but here's some to get you started - www.bbc.com/food/collections/easy_slow_cooker_recipes
Know Your Labels
Organic: There are several organic certifications, but the most widespread is the Soil Association’s. Organic food has to meet legal environmental and high animal welfare standards. www.soilassociation.org
Fairtrade: Ensures that farmers and workers in poor countries have good working conditions, work in co-operatives, receive a fair price for what they produce and a premium to invest in social projects. www.fairtrade.org.uk