Food sustainability is as many steps you’re willing to take to reduce your carbon footprint. There are certain features of food sustainability that you may not have control over, such as harvesting sustainability and sustainable farming practices. But you can help these two features by promoting good consumer practices
What is Food Sustainability?
There is no real one way of what food sustainability is as it can be broken down into a few methods/topics such as sustainable farming and agriculture practices, waste practices and sustainable foods habits.
These topics all focus on one overall goal which is SUSTAINABLITY. To provide good social equity and human health, environmental health and economic vitality. Sustainability is a combination of things like how food is produced, how it is then distributed, how it is packaged and how it gets consumed.
Let’s dive into getting to know each method/topic, shall we?
Sustainable Farming and agricultural practices
Sustainable farming practices is when farmers protect the local native plants and animals whilst keeping their farm and its productions running, i.e. not overproducing products like meats and vegetables. This also includes doing stock rotations, avoidance of harmful fertilisers and pesticides and avoiding the use of mono crops.
Sustainable farming is a ‘circle of life’ in a way, each element is based on the waste of the other. In instance, animal droppings turn into manure, manure is then used to fertilise and build the soil, which replenishes the nutrients in the crops which feeds the animals and humans, a never-ending cycle.
Sustainable farming can also be used to help with a low environment impact, by avoid damaging and/or wasting natural resources. This also helps minimises the contribution to climate change. Farmer when starting a sustainable farming lifestyle, would typically first start out the dynamic of the land. This is can be done by changing the layout, growing cover crops, reducing tillage, integrating livestock and crops and by adopting agroforestry practices
Eco-farming (low input farming) and agroecology are all about farming methods and management of production units. While equity and food sufficiency is not about techniques of farming, but deal with the protection of natural resources, equality in access to food, and economic gain and assurance of adequate food supplies.
Sustainable farming helps farmers to innovate and employ recycling methods. Practices such as recycling crop waste and animal manure, crop rotation, and collection of rain water are few examples of how farmers innovate and make better use of resources.
Nutrition plays a very important role in defining sustainable foods. There’s a largely growing activity of consuming more towards plant-based foods rather than foods coming animals. This diet is called Veganism and/or Vegetarianism.
Food sustainability is the practice of the production stage of foods that are non-polluting, conserve non-renewable energy and natural resources, such as processed foods.
Food sustainability is also the practice of reducing your food wastage, eating foods that are locally grown, and that are in season. It is reducing your fish, dairy and meat intake and consuming more vegetables (doesn’t mean you’ll have to turn vegan or vegetarian). You could also grow your own garden by growing your own vegetables, fruits and herbs, promote native wildlife and plants, reduce your travel distances with pollution filled vehicles (try opting for a bicycle, walking or even public transport).
Environmental sustainability is the practice of the environment voided from depletion or degradation of natural resources. The practice of environmental sustainability helps to provides the needs of today’s population are met, without jeopardizing the future generations needs.
Environmental sustainability is the practice of reducing your usage of plastic, reducing vehicle usage, waste and water management and the renewable energy resources. This is especially important, as our world, like humans need a sustainable lifestyle. Without fresh air, without clean water, pesticide-free crops and land pollution, humans would get really sick and life may become extinct on earth.
Quick examples of sustainability
- Reduce your plastic usage (opt for eco-friendly packaging)
- Reduce vehicle use (use bicycle or walking)
- Grow your own ingredients such as herbs and vegetables
- Reduce food waste (use compost bins)
- Think about getting renewable energy like solar panels
- Create a green space (plant some trees and flowers)
- Buy local food products
In summary, food sustainability is more important than you would think and can even mean the end of existence on earth. By participating in these practices, you reduce your own carbon footprint and contribute to eliminate a bigger problem than you and I.