Living in the City

Tuesday, January 10, 2006



Production and consumption of food puts a lot of pressure on the environment and the ecosystems. Agriculture practices, distribution systems, packaging methods and consumption patterns can be changed in order to put less strain to the environment without compromising our well-being. With our behaviour we can challenge all these aspects of food production.

Buy Organic. At the moment organic produce is more expensive. However, this price doesn’t reflect reality as in organic farming we don’t use any chemical inputs, like fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides. The only reason that this food is more expensive is because the conventional foods receive until now many subsidies from the governments and the EU. This practice makes prices fall as the cost falls for producers. If we increase our consumption of organics and make sure to support organic farmers prices might fall and subsidies might divert towards this method of farming.
Prefer buying local food. Transportation of food over big distances is one of the bigger CO2 polluters. Today, sometimes we can find in our local area products more expensive than exactly the same ones imported from a distant area. However, we should support our local farmers and go locally even if we pay a bit more.
Avoid buying food with many layers of packaging. Most of the times they are useless and create lots of waste. Why not buying your food in a local market? In this way you can avoid buying these four courgettes wrapped up with plactic from the supermarket.
Boycott Genetically Modified food. Don’t buy food that contains genetically modified seeds.
Prefer cooking at home or at local restaurants and avoid buying ready made meals, specially fast food. Ready made meals and fast food are usually of low quality, use more energy, and they come with a lot of packaging. Cook using fresh vegetables.
Eat less meat. You will save agricultural land that is used for cultivating animal foods and you will help in reducing methane emissions produced from the cattle. Prefer the Mediterranean diet.


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