Green Tau: issue 29

Caring for creation with every meal – Use your LOAF!

What we eat impacts the world around us – the welfare of animals, the welfare of wildlife, the fair sharing of water, the  fertility of the soil, the  well being of those who grow and produce food. It also contributes to the climate crisis. Making step by step changes, we can better care for creation.

The organisation Green Christian has produced the nemonic LOAF – Local, Organic, Animal friendly, fairly traded – to help us buy and eat sustainably with care for the world.

L locally grown, locally produced. 

Local reduces the carbon miles attached to our food. Local keeps us in touch with those who grow, make and sell our food. Growing our own keeps us in touch with the soil itself!

O organic.

Food, whether that is crops grown or animals raised, that is produced organically removes chemical fertilisers and pesticides from the environment where they cause damage to water supplies, wild life and human health. Instead organic farming works in harmony with the environment boosting its well being and biodiversity.

A animal friendly. 

Animals including birds and fish, should always be treated with care and respect. Factory farming for example, treats animals as profit-making commodities. Arable farming also has a responsibility to be animal friendly, including the wellbeing of birds and insects.

F fairly traded. 

Throughout the supply chain from farm labourer to shelf stacker, lorry driver to barista, each person deserves to be treated fairly.

In a previous issue of the Green Tau –

I have written about food and our carbon footprint. The Ethical Consumer’s Climate Gap Report notes that to be on track for net zero we need to reduce the carbon footprint of our food by 15% by 2030. So far (ie since 2019) reductions have not even risen above 0%.  It is imperative that we do look at and adjust what we eat, to reduce waste, to reduce our carbon footprint and to reduce the negative impact we have on the environment. Eating sustainably we can safeguard our own futures and improve that of the world in which we live.

  1. Eat less meat and dairy, replacing these with plant-based alternatives. “Veganuary” makes this a good time to try different vegan options. See the Eco Tips page on swopping to a vegan diet –
  2. Use local food shops. Buy locally produced food. 
  3. In supermarkets choose UK grown rather than imported fruit and vegetables. 
  4. Eat what’s in season – strawberries in May/ June, blueberries in July/ August. 
  5. Subscribe to a veg box – eg Riverford’s or Abel and Cole – or OddBox which fills its boxes with fruit and veg that would otherwise go to waste.
  6. Use local farmers’ markets 
  7. Expand the variety of fruits and vegetables that you buy. Biodiversity is an important way forward for farming –
  8. Opt for UK produce over imports. Hodmedod sells UK grown beans and pulses rather than those that come from Canada/ China etc.
  9. Opt for organic produce.
  10. Opt for fair trade products. This article relates to chocolate –
  11. Use refill shops – also known as bulk stores. Take your own containers or use the shop’s paper bags to buy loose ingredients such as beans and pulses, grains, dried fruit etc. 
  12. When buying meat, find a butcher who knows where the meat comes from and how it has been raised.
  13. Be prepared to pay more for meat and diary products that have been reared to a higher ethical standard.
  14. Use a milk delivery service such as Milk and More for both dairy and oat milk in refillable glass bottles.
  15. When buying fish, check whether it is sustainably sourced and/or farmed. Refer to the Marine Conservation Society’s guide as to which fish are not endangered.
  16. Plan your meals and your shopping to avoid throwing food away –
  17. Keep a habit of saying Grace at meals. Appreciation and gratitude go together. 

Author: Judith Russenberger

Environmentalist and theologian, with husband and three grown up children plus one cat, living in London SW14. I enjoy running and drinking coffee - ideally with a friend or a book.

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