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2021 SUSAINABLE LIFESTYLES

ONLINE CAMPAIGN

#FoodCampaign

We mentioned already the shameful amount of food the world is wasting today: 1/3 of food produced globally! 
This produces the amount of carbon emissions ranking the 3rd place, just behind the nation of USA and China! 

HOW COME SO MUCH IS WASTED?

In lower-income countries, majority of food waste occurs at the beginning of the value chain, that is upon storage, transportation and processing, due to the lack of proper technology, equipment and techniques.
In high-income countries, food waste happens mainly at retail stores and consumer level (home and restaurants). 

 

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Remember:

  • storing food in the best possible way helps avoid waste; 

  • “best before” label doesn’t mean time to throw; 

  •  meal plans will prevent you from buying products that remain uneaten;

  • prepare recipes to empty the fridge;

  • do not underestimate your creativity: there are many ways to make the most out of leftovers!

Like humans, vegetables and fruits are also NOT ALWAYS PERFECT! 

But farmers say, “ugly” produce tastes even better.

Have you ever wondered why cucumbers in supermarkets are always straight?

That’s because supermarkets want to sell produce that looks “beautiful”.

They define cucumbers being straight to look more beautiful than those not. 
Plus, they save space, reducing transportation and storage costs.
So, when selling to supermarkets, food suppliers have to filter out those

curved cucumbers which are then often simply wasted.  

This is an example but you see, there is a huge power imbalance

between supermarkets and food suppliers! 

Why don’t you give “ugly” produce a try? 
Share pictures on your social media and link to us!

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TRUE FACT: according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, saving the world's food waste would help to feed 2 billion people! That's more than twice the number of undernourished people across the globe!

FALSE FACT: so when you hear that the world doesn’t produce enough food to feed all people, you know: that’s a straight lie!

WHAT TO DO: while the asymmetric distribution of food is caused by deeper structural problems (power structure), there’re always things we can do to make a small change:

• refute the food-insufficiency lie

• waste less food

• consume organically and ethically produced food that doesn’t exploit people and our nature: look out for labels Organic and Fairtrade certified. 

Supermarkets hold immense power over food suppliers, and are, unfortunately,

big food wasters. They throw away millions of unsold edible food a year. 

But supermarkets can also be part of the solution!

 

Luckily, European countries are working into the direction of dealing with supermarket waste.

 

France passed a law that bans supermarkets from throwing away edible food by obliging them to pair up with a food waste NGO that can redistribute food that would have otherwise be thrown away. 

Italy passed a law against food waste that is meant to make it easier for food retailers to donate food to charities and food banks. Businesses won't face sanctions if they give away food past its sell-by date and will get tax cuts proportionate to the amount of food they give away.

Fighting food waste at the European level by elaborating a common methodology would be a very important step towards a good solution, don’t you agree?

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Do you know the difference between “USE-BY” and “BEST BEFORE” dates? 

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“Use by” date: is about SAFETY.

• is based on laboratory tests; 

• is typically present on meats and dairy products, as well as ready meals like salads.

• using food after its use-by date can put you at risk of food poisoning;

You should only consume them before this date! 

 

“Best before” date: is about QUALITY and not safety.  

• food manufacturers and retailers determine these dates as they see fit;

• is usually displayed on products that do not require refrigeration, for example, dry and tinned products, fruits and vegetables;

• the food may not be at its best but will be safe to eat after this date;

After this date the food could be completely edible! 

So when food passed its labelled “BEST BEFORE” date, before throwing it away judge its quality yourself! Don’t throw away without thinking! 

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This week we talk about agriculture, the place where food is first produced.

Yes, we know, you want to buy organic produce but they are often more expensive than the non-organic produce.

But why?

Not only do organic products involve more manual labour on many farms, but also the certification of “organic” cost money! Unfortunately, good things have to prove themselves to be good when bad things don’t. This should be the other way around!

Don’t you agree?

We hope understanding the costs behind certified organic products at least gives you some insight and encourages you to buy more organic produce.

What does it mean by calling a produce “organic”? 

It means that the agricultural land and the crops grown on it have NOT BEEN treated with chemical products that are toxic enough to kill unwanted weeds, insects and fungi. 

These products have proven to pose threats to human health and the health of our ecosystem!

Excessive use of chemical fertilizers has polluted our water system and depleted soil in the long term.

On organic farms, at most biological fertilizers such as compost and animal excretes, biological herbicides and insecticide are used - these don’t cause collapse of our ecosystem and pose danger to human health. 

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Let’s support organic farming by buying organic produce!

The majority of organic farms are small farms operated by farming families or communities. Non-organic farms tend to be large-scale industrial farms operated by companies. 

Over the last decades, we’ve seen small-holder farmers being pushed out of farming, bought over by industrial agricultural corporation to run farms at large scale in order to increase efficiency and therefore profit.

 

But in Africa and Asia, it is still the small-holder farmers who are the majority of farmers, producing 80% of food needed on their continents. Yet they face extreme poverty, hunger and disastrous effects of climate change. 

Let’s take this message to pay respect to small-holder organic farmers who are at the frontline of our food system despite crises and the risks the are facing.

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For those who are still thinking about switching to organic food: it is now the time to switch! 

Invest in organic food: it will give you better health! 

Support organic farms so that more farms would convert to organic!

In Vienna, for example, there are various special store which only sell organic products. Check them out!

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FACT:

Do you know that 80% of agricultural land globally is used to produce food to feed animals? Most of whose animal products and themselves we humans will consume eventually? 

It portrays a striking picture of our diet: way too much consumption of animal products! (meat, milk, cheese, yogurt, eggs, etc.)

 

INFO: 

Raising livestock posts a heavy ecological footprint: it uses a large amount of water, while its greenhouse gas emissions contribute to 18% of total human-induced emissions. 

Here, for example, the total amount of water needed to produce:

1 kilo of beef -> 15.415 litres 

1 kilo of pork -> 5988 litres 

1 kilo of potatoes -> 287 litres 

1 kilo of soybeans -> 817 litres. 

 

SUSTAINABLE LIFESTYLE:

Water and land are scarce natural resources! 

We need to do something about it: reduce animal product consumption and increase plant-based food. Doing this is not only good for our planet but also healthier for our body.

FACT: From a life-cycle analysis, household food consumption gives rise to more than 60% of global Greenhouse Gas emissions. 

 

INFO: Particularly in high-income countries, transforming food consumption is deemed an essential condition for reaching the United Nation’s global sustainability goals. 

Major examples of sustainable food consumption include:

increasing consumption of plant-based,

decreasing meat consumption, 

opting for seasonal products.

 

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SUSTAINABLE LIFESTYLE TIP: set concrete goals for yourself in a given period of time. 

Start from smaller changes and increase the amount of change incrementally. 

For example, if you eat meat/meat products 5 times a week:

reduce it to 3 times for a month or two, then to 2 for another month or two, then to only once a week…. and so on.

Try this methods with all animal products you would like to reduce/eliminate from your diet.

 

FACT: Behavioral psychologists have concrete evidence of effectiveness in this goal-setting approach.

It takes consistent repetition for a period of 10 days to 8 weeks for a human brain to integrate a new habit.

Give it a try yourself and have fun with your new sustainable diet!