Let’s Talk Food Waste & Sustainability.23.11.21
Let’s Talk Food Waste & Sustainability
The world has turned its head towards climate change and the negative impact we as humans are having on the environment.
It’s time to wake up and think about what small changes we can make to help improve climate change, and one of the easiest ways to do so is to reduce our food waste. In the UK, around 26 million tonnes of waste is produced each year, a large part of that being contributed by food and packaging waste. But there are things you can do to reduce this.
How does food shopping have an impact on the environment
You might have realised that driving to and from the supermarket will have a negative impact on the environment. But it doesn’t stop there. There are several factors that come into play when it comes to food shopping and sustainability. Let’s start with the source:
If your food is farmed outside of the UK, it will clock up a lot more carbon emissions than those that are produced locally. That’s because the food needs to be transported via air and this has a heavy carbon footprint. The food then needs to be transported to the supermarket which requires another vehicle such as a truck or van.
Once your food hits the supermarket, this is when you play a role in the amount of carbon emissions used. If you walk or cycle to the supermarket, this will have a much more positive impact than if you drive. In fact, we clock up an average of 135 miles per year travelling to and from the supermarket. And, our average weekly shop comes to an average total of 88kg of CO2 emissions per week (including air freight).
Food and packaging waste
How often do you eat all of the food in your weekly shop without throwing anything away? Be honest. It’s likely that some fruit and veg and the odd piece of meat goes off before we get the chance to eat it. The average person wastes approximately 400kg each year, over x7 of our body weight. Food waste is biodegradable, and thankfully 45% of waste in the UK is recycled, but what about the other 55%? This is sent to landfill and cannot be recycled, these are items such as plastic food packaging that goes straight in the bin.
Can I improve my sustainability?
The good thing is there are several steps you can take to make your relationship with food more sustainable. On top of this, not only will they have a positive impact on the environment, but also positively impact your diet and nutrition.
Give meal prep a go
One of the most convenient ways to reduce food waste is by opting for healthy meal prep. Companies such as us provide pre-portioned meals so that you don’t end up throwing away over-sized portions. On top of this, you avoid wasting ingredients that you might only use for one dish, which can also rack up the weekly bill.
Likewise, as well as helping reduce your food waste, you can also avoid plastic waste. When you buy food from the supermarket, it is often wrapped in excessive plastic packaging that cannot be recycled. Our packing is 100% recyclable and can then be used to create other products later down the line.
Choose in season fruit and veg
The UK produces hundreds of variations of fruit and vegetables each year that are full of flavour and will add variety to your dishes. More often than not, because we are used to imported food all year round, we get used to having everything available, but the air miles clock up. If you choose fruit and veg in season, there is a lot less travel involved that cuts down CO2 emissions. You’ll also be helping local farms and receive good quality, fresh ingredients.
Reduce Meat and dairy intake
One of the biggest food groups to have a detrimental impact on the environment is meat, and more specifically beef. Not only do airmiles and transportation come into play, but it’s also down to feeding the cows. Cows take up a lot of land, and eat a lot of food. The land that is used to farm cows and feed them would be much more sustainable if they were used to farm crops for humans.
If you’re concerned about the environment, and the impact your food waste has on it then there are small steps you can take to change your habits. Starting by ordering healthy meal prep from KBK.
by Eryn Barber
Eryn is a content writer who specialises in health and fitness articles. When she’s not writing, Eryn is helping people improve their strength and overall health as a Personal Trainer and is currently undertaking her Msc in Strength & Conditioning. You’ll usually find Eryn out on the trails running when she isn’t working.