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Sustainable Food
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'Sustainable' Food is healthier for People and the Planet...


Double Burden: There are now over a billion people in the world who go hungry - about the same number who are overweight The WHO calls this "the double burden" and they are both linked through inequality.

"Cheap" food ignores health and the environment. 'Sustainable' food takes into account environmental, health and social concerns.

image: cartoon - starving & obese people

Global Warming: Farming & Food production together make up about 1/5th of UK & World Greenhouse Gases(Stern Report & others)

Land: The UK 'Food Footprint' is 5X the size of the UK
(What, Why, Who, How)

Other concerns: energy use, (ca 10 calories used to produce one food calorie),,water (20 Niles flown out of Africa), biodiversity(few crop strains instead of diverse range), and

What does "sustainable food" mean?

"Sustainable" food
means different things to each of us, as we seek to balance emerging food issues about various health, environmental and social concerns. When producing food, we need to use less finite resources like oil, and emit less greenhouse gases (Environmental), treat those in food chain better (Social), and make money for further investment(Economic). Sustainable foodencouarges debates and dilemmas such as food miles or local, organic v GM, ethical & fair trade, land & labour, climate changecarbon labelling, cheap v quality (assured), health & environment, biodiversity v monoculture, veggie & animal welfare? On this site, we try to deal with these dilemmas at all levels, from consumer choice to government policy, but mainly at the level of your organisation. Two more Definitions & Principles

How does sustainable food relate with "Food Security"?

Food Security is according to FAO: "when everybody has access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences" (more definitions). Recent food prices may just a blip or the signal of long term issues. Food securuty and sustainability are certainly rising up the political agenda; witness the UK government's Food for the Future - a response to the EFRA Select Committee Report that said we should produce "more food, more sustainably" and the Sustainable Development Commission Report saying that sustainability and security are "a perfect fit".

Then there is nutrition...

The world bank says: The relationship between agriculture and human nutrition is far more complex than …the economic relationship between food supply and food demand”. "Food is not a commodity like others" says Bill Clinton - it cannot be left to the whims of the markets. The World Health Organisation spells out how to produce food more sustainably - ie is healthier for people and the planet.

To find out more about what sustainable food means, click WhatWhy, How.

For latest developments see our News page, our Reports page and special feature on 1st 100 days of Coalition government

Where are you in the Food Web? Check out the following...

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