We make food choices every day and through advertising and shopping opportunities are encouraged to over-consume at almost every turn. I don’t have facts to hand, but it would be interesting to see what percentage high fat food comprises within the drop offs by the new crop of food delivery firms. We live in an on-demand culture, which is wonderful in many ways, but in my opinion should not be abused.
Why am I writing this?
For a couple of reasons: I work as an executive recruiter in the food and ingredients sector, COP26 is on the way, and I have just been reading about the UN’s Food Systems summit 2021. What is crystal clear is the importance of food production resilience and also the profound link between how we produce food and its direct impact on the environment. In the middle of all this are our own personal choices. What we choose to eat has a direct environmental impact and we can no longer ignore this. Photo: Bill Oxford
At this point I am not suggesting anything extreme
However, I do wonder if it’s worth undertaking an audit of what we eat, how it's grown, food miles and environmental impact. A one-off audit would give us understanding and help us all reduce our own individual impact. It would be worth it in an attempt to act with more informed choices.
Our actions can contribute to more debate and potential change at every stage of food production
After all, with population growth significant, alongside climate change, then food security is high on the agenda. We have already had a taste of what a climate emergency can do so I wonder why are we continuing to utilise legacy growing, producing, buying and consumption approaches? Do individuals feel powerless? Or are we hoping someone else will come up with a solution? Photo: Markus Spiske
Let’s make even a small positive change
The aim for everyone in the food and ingredients, agriculture and production industry is to help create a more sustainable, more healthier and a far more equitable global food system. This flies in the face of constant growth strategies, more sales and greater consumerism. So, as individuals what can we do to make even the smallest difference?
Here are some suggestions and it would be great if we could add more in the comments box
· Buy locally and seasonally where possible and shop for what you need
· Check what’s in the cupboards, use an app, whatever suits your lifestyle and manage food resources as precious commodities, not something to be ditched.
· Measure portion sizes, weigh pasta, rice etc. on a per person basis.
· Don’t add extra to finish a packet, use slightly less and leave a full portion
· Try plant-based meals 2-3 times a week
· Buy fewer over processed foods and buy unpackaged wherever it’s practical or possible.
· Eat less. We can help ourselves and the planet in so many ways. This will help us lose weight, improve health, produce less faecal matter that needs to be processed and added to the overburdened sewage system, use less water; the benefits are limitless.
Photo: Chantal Garnier
COP26 is happening this October
That means now, more than ever, this is the time to really ignite the debate about the future of food. It will be fascinating to see what emanates from that meeting. Governmental policies, consumer behaviour change, changes in farming practices with technology and research at the forefront, are all required. It’s scary but exciting. We should stop feeling paralysed and consider what opportunities lie ahead for innovation and really positive change that will benefit everyone.
Genetics, crop genetics, genome sequencing, microbes, plants, sustainable proteins, decreased chemicals and fertilisers, increased R&D and a focus on doing good and putting that in front of everything could be transformational.
Meanwhile we can all start by doing something, however small
My aim is to search for the brightest, most creative and sincerely compassionate leaders and executives to drive the food and drink industry to be the very best it can be in every respect. If you would like a copy of my Leadership Pipeline ebook for free, please leave me a comment or send an email and I will send it to you immediately.