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The ethical food market

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Author: Lily Curle, Posted: Thursday, 24th January 2019, 09:00

Ethical food is becoming a bigger market than ever. As Veganuary comes to a close, it is time to think about how to source more ethical food, and what choices will reflect well on the environment.

It is important to consider not only our meat consumption, but also the places and retailers from whom we get our food, and the way in which it has been produced.

Of course, cutting down on your consumption of meat is a fast and easy way to make your diet more ethical. With the production of meat products comes vast amounts of green-house gases, from growing food for the animals, the machinery required to rear the animals and then the production of the products.

There is no need to go totally vegetarian or vegan just to help the planet, however simply cutting down to eating meat four times a week instead of every day will cut nearly half of the gases produced.

Vegan and vegetarian food can be delicious!

Try to include a few vegan dinners and vegetarian lunches a week, and this will become an easy habit that you can sustain. And, despite what many people think, vegan and vegetarian food can be very delicious and satisfying when done the right way!

Furthermore, cutting down on your dairy consumption can also help to save the planet. Dairy farming requires a lot of energy, and many resources are needed to help care for dairy cows. In cutting down your consumption, you cut the overall demand for these products, and so less farming is required – in turn, you save the energy!

Meat is not the only culprit for ethical food, however. There are also plant foods that are less than ethical, both for human and environmental reasons. For example, Brazilian avocados contribute to significant deforestation of the Amazon rainforest. It is always worth being careful of where your food is coming from, as many mass producers will sacrifice the environment for the sake of a large yield of crops.

The easiest way to ensure that your food is ethical is to look for products from close to home. Consider buying from farm shops, as you can definitely know the methods of production for these crops. Buying locally will also hugely reduce food miles of your chosen produce – another benefit for the planet.

Buy seasonally and locally

Try to buy vegetables that are in season, ones that don’t require the use of artificial heating in order to be grown. Choosing these products means that the same greenhouse gases are not made during production, creating a much happier planet and a much healthier you!

There are, of course, many reasons why you may or may not choose a particular diet. Everyone is entitled to a personal choice, but buying seasonally and locally is easy enough for us to do in the UK and the combined positive effect it could have would be huge for our planet.

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