Think before you eat and help save our environment!

Who cares about World Environment Day ? I do! And it seems that each year there are more and more people who care about positive environmental action.  Here are a few facts followed by the low down of some of my favorite initiatives for World Environment Day 2013.

What is Environment Day about?

The motto for this year’s UN World Environment Day is THINK EAT SAVE – an anti-food and food loss campaign that encourages you to reduce your foodprint by making you more aware of the environmental impact of the food choices you make.

We are all invited to raise awareness and take action and nothing is more pertinent and unifying than food – we all need to eat and drink to live each and every day.

a well stocked delicatessen in NYC

a well stocked delicatessen in NYC

Why is food important to the environment?

  • 30 to 40% of food grown is estimated to be lost somewhere between the field and the consumer.
  • 200 Million people can be fed with the amount of food wasted in Europe.
  • YET: more than 20,000 children under the age of 5 die daily from hunger and 1 in every 7 people in the world go to bed hungry.
  • Worldwide we waste 1.3 billion tonnes of food – almost as much as the entire production of South Africa.
  • half of the food produced in the world is left to rot.
  • food waste is an enormous drain on resources and causes negative environmental impacts. For example, it takes about 1,000 litres of water to produce 1 litre of milk and about 16,000 litres goes into a cow’s food to make a hamburger. The resulting greenhouse gas emissions from the cows themselves, and throughout the food supply chain, all end up in vain when we waste food.
  • the global food production occupies 25% of all habitable land and is responsible for 70% of fresh water consumption, 80% of deforestation, and 30% of greenhouse gas emissions. It is the largest single driver of biodiversity loss and land-use change.

* Source:  UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

Adopting good food habits

  1. Select foods with a lesser environmental impact:  organic foods that do not use chemicals in the production process; buy locally  so foods are not flown halfway across the world and therefore limit emissions.
  2. Become a part- or full-time vegetarian because it takes a lot more resources to produce meat than it takes to produce fruit and vegetables and click here to find out how we can turn the entire world into part-time vegetarians.
  3. Buy only what we will eat to reduce wastage.
  4. Don’t go shopping hungry .. we all know what happens, we buy too much and overeat!!!

Examples of positive action to reduce food waste

  • Take a look at the nude food movement and particularly, support Nude Your food in June by backing one of the people who signed up to nude their food for the entire month of June.
  • Oxfam’s 3 Things initiative – 3 small or large things we can all do to change the world, one action at a time and in particular the food for thought part of this initiative which provides content for education about food production and and how we can fix the broken food system where we produce enough food to feed the entire world population already but 1 in 7 people go hungry every day somewhere in this world.
  • Love Food. Hate Waste Initative by 1 Million Women Australia and their list of the top 10 things you can do right now to reduce food waste.

In the words of the UN: So think before you eat and help save our environment! And don’t be shy and let me know what you really think about this topic!