When our parents and grandparents were young, their diet looked very different than ours today. Today at the supermarket we can buy just about anything at any time of the year. We use various foods and ingredients and often don’t even know where they come from and what impacts their production have. Moreover, a large part of these products end up in waste bins and are never used.
The things we eat influence our world! Some foods are directly related to the destruction of the rainforests in South America, Malaysia and Indonesia. Often we buy more food than we can possibly eat, and as a result, much of it ends up in the waste bin. Intensive farming methods rob the soil of nutrients, use an excess of pesticides and chemicals, cause erosion and reduce biodiversity. Our current unsustainable farming methods increase the cost of foods, an effect felt most by the poorest people both at home and abroad. What’s more, our food contributes heavily to climate change due to the fact that during its production and transport from remote regions a great amount of carbon dioxide is released into the air.
In a world of endless shopping possibilities, omnipresent advertising and the battle for customers, a lack of time, sophisticated technology for the production and processing of food and ever-rarer contact with nature, being a conscientious consumer is becoming increasingly difficult. And yet, being a responsible consumer needn’t be that complicated. It’s enough to know the story behind our food.
Eight recommendations for responsible food consumption:
Eat less food, but food of higher quality.
Don’t waste food.
Substitute meat more often, e.g. with beans, tofu, tempeh or vegetarian meat alternatives.
Choose foods whose production respects the planet and its resources (water, soil, ecosystems and climate).
Give priority to local and seasonal food.
Support small and local producers with your purchases.
Seek the diversity of species.
Beware of palm oil.