Our city’s shared plan to tackle climate change

News

Feeding Manchester

Contributed on 12.04.2017 by Laura Holdstock

With a passion for being kind to the planet and living sustainably, Feeding Manchester is a great source for buying, growing, cooking and eating locally and sustainably in Greater Manchester. With a wealth of information on local farmer’s markets and food co-operatives for buying produce, as well as allotments and community gardens to grow your own fruit and vegetables, the website is a haven of knowledge for the sustainable eater. You can also find links to sustainable recipes and restaurants in Manchester too.

So, what is sustainable eating? As food is responsible for around 20% of greenhouse gas emissions in the UK and around a third of the food produced for human consumption is wasted, it is widely recognised that the food industry needs to reduce emissions to avoid further effects on the climate, in addition to consumers reducing waste. There are several ways Feeding Manchester suggest we can eat sustainably:

  • Buying local, seasonal produce minimises emissions of transportation at the same time as supporting local farmers and markets, as a vast amount of money is spent on the transportation of food from other parts of the world and of course this has huge impacts on the environment.  Purchasing foods from local shops and markets supports the local community rather than giving more money to huge corporations that are only focused on driving profits.

  • It is important for both the health of living beings as well as the planet that we grow produce organically without the use of synthetic fertilisers or pesticides. Crops that aren’t farmed organically tend to be grown using petro-chemicals. Not only are these chemicals harmful to wildlife and humans, they’re also usually imported and contain non-renewable resources.

  • Food companies need to reduce packaging and when used, should be recyclable or reusable. Around three quarters of all packaging is linked to food and drink. Often difficult to recycle, plastics and other non-biodegradable materials are filling up landfills and sadly polluting our oceans, harming marine life. Buying from local farmers markets also reduces packaging waste.

  • Reducing the quantity and increasing the quality of meat and dairy foods (organic and free range) is vital for protecting our environment. The meat industry is responsible for 40% more greenhouse gas emissions than all transportation and takes up a huge amount of land, destroying rainforests and disturbing wildlife and biodiversity. 

  • Avoiding fish that are at risk is of great importance to our oceans and sustainable eating. Some species, once common, are heavily over-fished. One example is Skate, which is now on the verge of extinction.

  • Buying certified Fairtrade food ensures workers are fairly treated and earn the right wages for their labour. Fairtrade also supports social, environmental and economical development projects. Unicorn in Chorlton is a grocery store dedicated to Fairtrade, ethical food.

Sustainable eating is not only about supporting the environment, but also about health and well-being for all.

Click here to visit the Feeding Manchester website to find sustainable stores, learn about upcoming food events or volunteer with sustainable initiatives in Manchester.