In a talk on 23 November, Duncan Catchpole* ran through his ‘Top 10’ food sustainability considerations:
- Try to eat less meat and dairy. Not just for animal welfare and carbon emissions: animals are fed more food than they produce for human consumption, so inefficient. Growing animal feed is also a major cause of deforestation.
- Minimise food waste: food waste alone causes 10% of greenhouse gases. Needing to feed the growing world population is seen as a justification for more intensive food production – but we should have enough anyway: a third of food currently produced is wasted (not just by consumers – there is systemic waste in food chains).
- Look out for sustainable production methods: eg organic, biodynamic, permaculture – these help look after the long-term quality of our soil.
- Healthy eating: ‘5 a Day’ still a good maxim, both for your health and resulting impact on resources such as NHS. And is your diet sustainable in 3 main ways: environmentally, socially and economically?
- Consider food miles: energy, emissions, refrigeration costs.
- Avoid highly processed food: commodification of food leading to lower production standards, long supply chains, reduction in nutritional value.
- Avoid big corporates: their motive is profit, not keeping people fed and healthy. They push out small, local providers.
- Seasonal food: eat what is available each season.
- Sustainable Fish: 85% of global fish stocks now depleted. Look for Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) endorsement .
- Packaging: try to buy food with minimum packaging, or where you can, refill containers. (Green Weigh just opened in Sawston; also Organic Health in Hauxton; Full Circle and Arjuna shops in Cambridge; and of course the various local organic veg box companies, including Duncan’s own: Cambridge Organic. See below for details).
*Duncan Catchpole is the founder and owner of Cambridge Organic (formerly Cambridge Organic Food Company, or COFCO) and has over twenty years’ experience in the sustainable food and drink sector. He is a founding committee member of Cambridge Sustainable Food and since its inception has been leading CSF’s headline project of creating a Sustainable Food Hub for Cambridge – a local network of food growers, producers, and consumers.
Address/contact details of local no-waste shops as at November 2020 Contact the shops to see what online / delivery / click and collect facilities are currently available.
Green Weigh 60 High Street, Sawston, Cambridge CB22 3BG tel 01223 971240 (Website pending: www.greenweighshop.co.uk) Open Tue – Fri 9 – 5, Sat 9 – 2.30.
Organic Health: 87 Church Rd, Hauxton, Cambridge CB22 5HS tel 01223 870101 No website or email. Current opening times: Fri 1 – 5, Sat 9.30 – 12 and 1 – 5
Arjuna Wholefoods 12 Mill Road Cambridge CB1 2AD tel 01223 364745 Open Mon – Sat 9.30 – 6.00.
Full Circle: 9 Norfolk Street Cambridge CB1 2LD tel 01223 353158 Open Tues – Sat 10 – 5; Sunday 10 – 4.
Cambridge Organic (Formerly Cambridge Organic Food Company) box delivery service tel: 01223 873300