How do we live a more sustainable and healthy lifestyle?
Nutrition and the health of the planet must be linked and there are increasingly more discussions on how consumers can understand food’s role in their health and the planet’s health.
Unhealthy Diets Lead to an Unhealthy Planet
Unhealthy diets are causing species extinction and are responsible for one third of all global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, according to the EAT-Lancet Commission on Food, Planet, Health. With traditional agriculture driving an estimated 75% of land clearing and degradation and 70% of water use worldwide. A shift in the way consumers engage and understand the food system is required to reduce the level of GHG produced by the food system, tackle environmental concerns such as deforestation and soil nutrient depletion as well as the effects of packaging and transporting food vast distances across the world. But there is still much work to be done.
How People Can Make a Difference
Understanding personal diets and the effects that they have in the environment is paramount to changing the impact of the broken agriculture and food systems. Eaters worldwide have the potential to reduce their normal diet’s contributions to GHG emissions and they must prepare for the needs of future generations, by designing their diets to protect land and water. Consumers are fast realising that foods such as meat and dairy should make up small portions of diets, while plants including fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts should comprise a majority of diets to boost human and planet health.
Global Sustainable Diet Guidelines on the Rise
Governments are behind this shift and in 2004, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity, and Health issued guidance to make changes necessary to educate consumers and provide them with tools that inspire healthier eating. Leading countries and organisations released new dietary guidelines for people and the planet as early as 2015. Innovate UK, the government backed grant giving organisation is leading the way by investing into private sector agrifood innovations to tackle some of these problems.
How we make a difference
We at Square Mile Farms understand the issues around food production and are seeking innovative way to disrupt the traditional food system. By combining urban farming with controlled environment agriculture and supporting a public that want to make a difference to the world that they live in we are going some way to helping. Our farms use a fraction of the water of traditional agriculture, carry no food miles and are packed with nutrients that are often lost on the long supply chains. We don’t seek to take over from traditional farming, but we are going in the right direction!