The world of sustainability can be somewhat daunting and with 250,000 tonnes of edible food going to waste every year in the UK, there is no better place to start your sustainability journey than in the kitchen. Below are 5 sustainable food swaps that will not only benefit your wellbeing, but Mother Earth’s too.
Give ‘wonky’ a chance
The world of ‘wonky’ fruit and veg has received a fair amount of press recently, with retailers of fresh produce changing today’s culture in order to support both the planet and UK farmers. The high standards set by retailers previously meant that up to 40% of fruit and vegetables are wasted due to their “ugly” or “uneven” appearance. Although some may say ugly others may say quirky and natural. With sustainable boxes now being delivered to your door, incorporating sustainability into our everyday lives is only becoming easier. Oddbox is an example of one service that delivers delicious surplus seasonal fruit and veg to your door, saving you time whilst also reducing global food wastage. At the same time as boosting the health of the planet, subscription boxes of surplus produce also boost your own health, encouraging a varied seasonal diet. As well as bringing sustainable food to our plates, snacking brands are making wonky fruit a handbag staple. Snact and Spare Snacks are both companies working to raise awareness of the ongoing food waste problem in the UK whilst maintaining a delicious snacking culture. Crunchy fruit crisps and chewy fruit jerky will satisfy both your tummy and the planet.
Use a planet-friendly alternative to cling film
Manuka honey, bee pollen, royal jelly and now beeswax wrap, is this the newest bee trend? Beeswax wrap provides a natural alternative to wrapping half an avocado, covering leftovers or even packing a snack. The Beeswax Wrap Co. offers a 100% natural, reusable and biodegradable alternative to plastic wrap that keeps food super fresh. Stocking a range of different sizes beeswax wrap offers a simple sustainable food swap.
Time for a lazy weekend stroll
When thinking of farmer’s markets, displays of dark leafy greens, crisp local apples, chutney’s and cheeses, as well as home-baked goods, are all that come to mind. For those with a holistic approach to health, a local farmer’s market could be the answer to sustainable living. Providing an authentic experience to seeing and buying the most natural, organic and seasonal produce, farmers markets allow you to reduce both your carbon footprint and plastic use. No longer secluded to the countryside, urban farmer’s markets are on the way up. From Notting Hill to Peckham, markets are popping up left, right and centre in London. Having the luxury of picking exactly what you want means you only buy what you need, saving you, money and the planet, waste.
Organic really is key!
We have all heard the word organic being thrown around but do we really understand both what it means as well as the importance of choosing organic? The elimination of man-made fertilisers, pesticides, growth regulators and livestock feed additives are all what makes organic food well, organic. By eliminating harsh chemicals, we are supporting a healthier community, conserving the local bees as well as other pollinators whilst maintaining good soil health. On top of that organic often results in tastier produce!
Eating in tune with the weather
We have all been told at some point in our lives to eat the rainbow, and that variety is key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Eating seasonally really does ensure we do this. We dress with seasons so why don’t we eat with them too? Not only will eating seasonally taste better, be more environmentally friendly as well as cheaper but it will also support the body’s natural nutritional needs. Take the winter months where leafy greens, such as spinach and kale are plentiful. These ‘superfoods’ are nutrient-packed powerhouses full of vitamin C, the natural cold and flu-fighting remedy, making them the perfect winter accompaniment. Increasing the demand for flu fighters and other produce in season will consequently benefit local farmers meaning less transportation and lower carbon emissions.
Sustainable swaps truly can be as big or small as you want them to be! Our food choices surely are the perfect place to start. With so much variety and deliciousness to choose from, living a sustainable life doesn’t have to feel too far away.
words by Jessica Jouning
Read more: “10 Things I Learnt From Going Zero-Waste”