Change the way you eat
Often, choices that benefit the planet also benefit us. Food is no exception. Eating locally-grown and sustainably-produced food not only improves soil health and reduces carbon emissions, but it is also more nutritious.
Buy local, seasonal food
Over the course of a year the food we eat in Devon has travelled over 230 million miles generating around 240,000 tonnes of CO2. Devon has some of the best food and drink in the country, which is grown and made by people who are passionate about providing quality food. Buying Devon produce supports Devon’s economy, reduces your ‘food miles’ and means you know exactly where your food has come from. It’s fresher, it’s tastier and it’s good for Devon.
Shop at local farmers’ markets and local shops and make use of seasonal veg box schemes. Food Drink Devon has a list of all farmer’s markets in Devon and information about local food producers and where to buy.
Not sure what’s seasonal? This tool allows you to explore the fruits and vegetables in season where you are. Simply select the country, season and month!
Eat a balanced diet, with plenty of vegetables
What we eat impacts our carbon footprint in various ways, but the good news is that if we all followed the recommendations of the government’s Eatwell Guide, then according to Carbon Trust analysis we’d each have a much lower environmental impact than the current average UK diet and be healthier!
In Devon, total emissions from agriculture and land use account for 18% of greenhouse gas emissions and changing our diets is one of the biggest changes, we, as individuals, can make to address our individual carbon footprint. It’s all about enjoying your fair share, but not too much.
Try this handy food carbon calculator where you can see the impacts of eating different food and drink types. The calculator shows you the carbon equivalent as miles of driving a petrol car or days of heating your average home. It also shows water consumption, energy use and land area used.
Most of us need to reduce the amount of dairy and meat we consume to meet the recommendations – eating meat and dairy less often could allow more of us to afford to support better quality local meat and dairy – something Devon is famed for.
Buy British, as grazing land for imported meat and the need for land to grow animal feed is the single greatest driver of deforestation, including in the Amazon, which has major consequences for biodiversity loss.
Some people are choosing to become vegetarian or vegan, if this is something you decide to do, make sure you get a balanced diet to ensure you get all the nutrients you need.
Need some vegetarian recipe inspiration? Check out this BBC Good Food Guide here.