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Stamford Climate Action Group look at the impact of what we eat on the environment





There are many aspects to climate change mitigation and adaptation that are simply beyond the reach and scope of the individual citizen, writes Gian-Marco Marseglia from Stamford Climate Action Group.

They can only be addressed effectively by international bodies, governments, NGOs, etc.

We may and, indeed, should make every effort to influence and put pressure on these through the ballot box and via activism of one sort or another but, more often than not, we are left feeling deflated, powerless and ineffectual.

Stamford Climate Action Group discusses the sustainability of food
Stamford Climate Action Group discusses the sustainability of food

However, there is still much that we can do, particularly when we are able to mobilise and act in concert with other like-minded people to generate an economic impact as consumers. When, in other words, we choose to put our money where our mouth is.

Recycling and the drive towards more sustainable packaging, and less of it at that, are classic examples of consumer led initiatives, including unwrapping purchases of excessive packaging and leaving it to be disposed of by the retailer. Indeed, choosing products based on ingredients, contents and packaging is one way of regaining some sense of agency.

Predictably, companies and corporations have quickly latched on to this sentiment and proceeded to exploit it for their own narrow commercial advantage. Hence “Greenwashing”. Nevertheless, considering the environmental impact of modern industrial agriculture and animal husbandry and, crucially, the vast greenhouse gas emissions generated (second only to the energy sector), it is a matter of simple logic that as consumers we should focus on what we eat as a way of mitigating climate change in the first instance and adapting to it in the second.

Gian-Marco Marseglia from Stamford Climate Action
Gian-Marco Marseglia from Stamford Climate Action
Stamford Climate Action Group discusses the sustainability of food
Stamford Climate Action Group discusses the sustainability of food

In the midst of a cost-of-living crisis characterised by food and energy insecurity, to source fresh, local, unprocessed, organic produce may not always be the cheapest nor most convenient option; but producers and suppliers have already responded to changing consumer habits and will continue to do so as sufficient numbers choose to spend their hard earned cash with an eye on how this impacts climate change. Commercial practice will adapt, economies of scale will kick in, availability will improve, and prices will come down. The alternative is unsustainable.

Food for thought…



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