Sustainable Food and drink
Buying locally sourced foods has many benefits:
- Economic benefits: creating jobs and keeping money within the local economy
- Health benefits: access to wholesome, fresh and more delicious food
- Environmental benefits: less pollution, less packaging and less transportation
- Social benefits: links between urban and rural dwellers, and a strengthening of local communities.
Reducing food miles
‘Food miles' refers to the distance food travels from where it is grown to where it is purchased and then on to where it is consumed. Excessive food transportation is a major contributor to air pollution, increasing congestion and wasting natural resources. Food purchased in your supermarkets may have been transported long distances even though similar produce may be available locally. Food is also transported many miles to food processing companies such as sandwich makers and packers. Buying goods locally from the producer or from their local stockists reduces food miles.
Other things you can do to reduce the impact of your food purchasing:
- Eat seasonal food – this avoids food being transported from abroad
- Cook from fresh – buying ready prepared and processed foods produces more pollution and packaging waste than cooking it yourself
- Buy in bulk – if you use a lot of an item, buying in bulk reduces the packaging
- Avoid waste – only cook as much as you can use, throwing food away is wasteful and produces greenhouse gases. Consider freezing extra portions. For further ideas visit the Nottinghamshire Love Food Hate waste page at http://www.veolia.co.uk/nottinghamshire/lovefoodhatewaste, and find free recipies.
- Check the Nott's Nosh booklet for ideas on where to buy locally or visit the Notts Nosh website at http://food.groundworknottingham.org.uk/, or see the Totally Locally website and Rushcliffe markets and fairs page.
For information about healthy eating please visit our Healthy eating page.
Grow your own
Growing your own food is another way to reduce food miles, gives you control over the chemicals used on your food and is a healthy activity.
Have a look at our allotments page, gardening page and information about the Community Food Grant.
Fairtrade is where the producer of a product from developing countries is paid a fair price for their product. If you are buying products that can not be grown locally, such as coffee, tea, cocoa, exotic fruits or even cotton look for the Fairtrade mark.
Fairtrade products are available from all the supermarkets in Rushcliffe. To promote Fairtrade, Rushcliffe Borough Council has signed the Nottingham Fairtrade Pledge. Rushcliffe provides fairtrade coffee, tea, hot chocolate and sugar in its meeting rooms.