Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Sustainable food

I am cooking the evening meal for the first time. Nothing too ambitious, so soup, macaroni cheese, bacon and tomatoes, and the like. So far, it's all got to the table on time and is edible.

Choosing to live sustainably is not just a one-off choice, but a series of small choices day by day, never more so than in the case of food.

The current food supply chain is totally unsustainable. It is based on oil for production (fertilisers, pesticides, powering farm machinery), processing and packaging (plastics),and transportation from farm to fridge. Food production often results in natural habitats across the world being rooted up; over exploitation of soil and water supplies; vast inequalities between developed and developing; shocking treatment of animals; and a range of chemicals in our food.

Growing and buying locally means a lot less oil use for transportation, ideally less packaging, and greater food security. It also benefits the local economy: spending in local shops keeps 80% of the money in the local economy, buying from the major supermarkets keeps only 20% if that. Local fruit and veg also means seasonal, which means varying menus throughout the year, using what we are producing (eventually), and bottling/pickling etc, and hence becoming more directly aware of God’s provision and more rooted in the soil of Mucknell.

So I expect my menu will change.

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