Fourteen ways you can help create change on sustainable food

This blog post in inspired by The Sustainable Food Guide created by SOS-UK, read more here.

 

1. If possible, choose plant-based foods that are seasonal, local Fairtrade and organic. Consider using a local veg box scheme, there are loads in Bristol, for example from the Community Farm. You could also buy from the zero-waste shop on campus at Frenchay, or try setting up a buying group with friends to bulk-buy more affordable wholefoods.

2. Choose better meat and dairy (if you aren’t vegetarian or vegan) that has been produced in the UK. If you do eat meat lookout for organic and/or pasture-fed. Avoid processed meat products, only eat meat occasionally and change the proportion of meat-based meals to include a greater vegetable content. This applies whether you’re cooking at home, eating out or buying food on the go.

3. Choose fish (if you aren’t vegetarian or vegan) that is sustainable by avoiding red-rated fish completely, and choosing green-rated, MSC, ASC or organic-certified fish, and only eat it occasionally.

 

4. Choose to buy food from restaurants and cafes on campus that has been awarded the  Food for Life Served Here Bronze award as a minimum. If lots of students ask about accreditation it may help push caterers towards acting on these issues if they haven’t already.

5. Choose Fairtrade options whenever possible, currently, it’s Fairtrade Fortnight from 21 February – 6 March, and there is 10% off Fairtrade options in The Students’ Union shops.

6. Avoid overly processed food, drinks and snacks that are commonly sold in single-use packaging and provide little nutritious value.

 

7. Use water fountains rather than buying bottled water or fizzy drinks. We have a number of water fountains available on the UWE campuses, we are working on creating a map of where they all are.

8. Always try to carry a reusable water bottle and/or coffee cup and ideally a food container in case you come across some surplus food after an event, from a friend, or when eating out.

9. Aim to only buy the food you need and if you have surplus freeze it, give it away to someone you know, or share it via an app such as OLIO or Too Good to Go. See Love Food Hate Waste’s  Top 10 tips to reduce food waste.

10. Grow some of your own food: at our Community Garden on Frenchay Campus, at a community garden in Bristol or a Community Supported Agriculture farm, or just in some pots on your windowsill. We have also recently launched a Community Garden at Glenside Campus. Incredible Edible are a great organisation in Bristol creating a community food growing movement in the city.

11. Buy food from local independent shops such as bakery’s and butchers, or directly from producers e.g. veg box schemes or food markets, instead of going to supermarkets. For example, check out this Bristol Farmers' and Producers' Market.

12. Campaign for food justice – understand the issues in this framework for a fair food future, join the growing food citizenship movement, and support the call for the Right to Food to be part of UK law.

13. Check for university investments in industrial livestock agriculture and, if they exist, start/support a campaign for Big Livestock divestment with reinvestment into regenerative agriculture that uses nature friendly farming practices.

14. Get involved in national good food campaigns such as Good to Grow Day,Food Waste Action Week,Sugar Smart,The Big Lunch,Fairtrade Friday,Plant & Share Month,Sourdough September orOpen farm Sunday.