Our city’s shared plan to tackle climate change

News

Vegetable Crisis: Why we need to focus on the environment

Contributed on 15.02.2017 by Laura Holdstock

Recently, you will have witnessed a vegetable frenzy across the UK. For the last month, supermarkets and stores nationwide have been rationing a variety of vegetables such as lettuce, courgettes, aubergines and others… a vegan’s nightmare!

So why is this happening? A streak of bad weather throughout Europe has ruined the crops that the UK relies heavily on. Storms, snow and shockingly heavy downpours have caused severe flooding and destruction to crops, demolishing Europe’s fresh fruit and vegetable patch, which during the winter months provides 80% of Europe’s fresh produce. The main area affected by this weather, that kindly provides our groceries, is the coastal area of Southern Spain. This area usually remains warm year-round and hasn’t seen snow since the 1980s.

The shortages we are currently faced with are minor problems compared to the Worldwide issue at the root cause of all of this – climate change. This is evidence that we must focus our efforts on combating climate change, as these irregularities will only be exacerbated if we do nothing. For years, we have become increasingly mindful of the effects of climate change, and this is merely one of the many consequences. The shortage has drastically increased prices of foods and the scary thing is, food will only continue to rise in price. Climate change is impacting the growth of other food, such as corn, for which price is ever on the increase.

The transportation and packaging of foods is more often than not inefficient and wasteful, with some vegetables being grown at one end of the country, shipped and packaged at the other end to then be distributed, having a harmful impact on the environment. Manchester also relies heavily on imported foods and the majority of food in the UK has an unsustainable supply chain. We need to focus on sourcing our foods responsibly as well as locally as much as possible, eating seasonal foods and, crucially, wasting less. Manchester has a number of eco-friendly restaurants and stores such as Unicorn, Organic North, Whole Box and Robinsons all source their produce sustainably.

In order to reduce carbon emissions in Manchester and therefore diminish the effects of climate change, we also need to focus on changing our lifestyles in other ways – read our blog to see how you can help today.

The real question is; will this crisis now be an ongoing battle for years to come?