Tag Archive | organic

We need better food labelling…

This morning, we (my girlfriend and I) were going shopping at the big Tesco Extra supermarket at Canada Water. This was actually the first time that it was really quiet and not many people were around. Shopping between 9am and 10am seems to be the way to go if you like space, take your time and actually do not have to wait at the tills. I will definitely do that more often.

As we were in a great shopping mood and had the space in front of these never ending product shelves, we decided to take a look at what we buy comes from and if we can find products that are produced locally or at least are not imported from some country ont he other side of the world. This is a really great thing to do as you will discover where the product actually comes from and you will be surprised! We are not just trying to reduce our environmental impact with this little change in buying behaviour, but I think it will also help the UK economy and your shopping basket a little bit healthier as you are more likely to buy seasonal products and reduce the carbon footprint enormously. Additionally, I really do believe that the consumer – meaning all of us – has the power to change things for the better.

speed shopping by {foto obscura}  (foto-obscura)) on 500px.com
speed shopping by {foto obscura}

But back to food labelling and the difficult task with some products to find out where they were produced. For example, we were looking for some lentilsĀ  and you can imagine that there was an amazing diversity of colours, shapes and labels to buy from. However, all of them did not mention on the packaging the country of origin. We could find out that there were packaged in the UK, but that was all. And this not the only product where you will have difficulties finding the actual source. It looks a bit better in the meat and fruit & vegetable section as most fresh produce will have a label that at least shows the country of origin.

Another thing that makes it difficult for buyers is that most products coming from different markets and are packaged in various countries. Therefore, you will have all sorts of labels claiming different things. If you just think of the organic food labelling. There are a few bodies that can certify in the UK, some more in Europe and everybody has their own label. This is very confusing and you never know what think of if you don’t know the label. This has lead us to do a bit more research on some of the labels, but this again time consuming and if you have a busy lifestyle it is hard to do. However, I do argue if we would all inform ourselves a bit more about food labelling and start changing our buying habits, I am convinced that we can change it for the better.

Please share your thoughts.

PS: If you like to read more about where your food, cloth and other things in your life come from, read: Confessions of an eco sinner by Fred Pearce. A really good read! For more information on the environmental impact of food production, watch: HOME on youtube for free. Pictures you will not forget.

7 ways to change your shopping

The year is already in full progress. New Years resolutions are still on the way, but there is still so much more to be done. While thinking about the year ahead and this blog growing bigger every day, my thoughts came across again on some environmental issues that I would like to share with you. It actually all started with seeing the food waste bin being put into a Tesco plastic bag in my flatshare. This is really something I don’t understand and shows me that people either don’t know how to recycle or they simply don’t care. But maybe it is a bit of both.

This brings me tot he point that I would like to help share my thoughts on these things with other and maybe inspire the one or the other to change at least one habit into something more eco-friendly, sustainable and healthier. As I anyway have to go shopping today, I would like to note down some tips and tricks on how to make shopping or more precise food shopping a little bit more environmental friendly while not loosing out on all the fun – it really depends if food shopping is fun for you, but it really can be!

1. Try to walk, cycle or use public transport when going shopping as it saves a lot of carbon dioxide and at the end it is healthier.

gone shopping by Denis Kudryashov (stereoden)) on 500px.com
gone shopping by Denis Kudryashov

2. As you know you are going shopping, think ahead and take some cotton or other reusable bags with you, so that you can leave the plastic bags in the shop. It makes a big difference to the environment, but it only means a small change for you. By the way, most non-plastic carrier bags are much more comfortable for the hands than it’s plastic counterpart.

bag by Andrew  Kulemin (andrew06)) on 500px.com
bag by Andrew Kulemin

3. When buying fresh food, start buying local produce. Most fresh foods these days have the country of origin on the packaging. This is a great help to reduce the carbon food print of your food and will give you more nutritious food as it probably has not travelled as long as imported produce. Additionally, it helps your local economy and supports farmers in your own country.

4. Buy as many fresh product from the organic range you will find in most supermarkets these days. It is proven that this produce is much healthier and can have more nutrients. Yes, it comes with a bigger price tag, but at the end it is our health were are playing with and is a longer life not much more worth than a few pounds here and there.

Organic Produce by Paula Thomas (gapey)) on 500px.com
Organic Produce by Paula Thomas

5. Buy as many products as possible in environmental packaging. This means less plastic and more paper or glass. Glass is the only packaging material that can be reused and recycled without loosing any of it’s unique characteristics. It also does not leak any unwanted chemicals into your food and drink. Many foods are available in glass, but might be on the lower or high shelves in the supermarket. If you cannot find it just asked a shop assistant for the glass packaged option.

6. Leave unwanted packaging in the shop, so you don’t have to throw it away at home and this will assist in making the shops look at their packaging. Imagine every customer would leave only one item of packaging in the shop when buying something – the cost for the disposal for the shops would rise tremendously and they would find better ways to reduce the waste. The consumer has the power.

Do not litter by Neilstha Firman (Neilstha)) on 500px.com
Do not litter by Neilstha Firman

7. Stop buying bottled water, especially when it is in plastic. Did you know that bottled water is up to 1900% more expensive than tap water? This is a great cost saver! And, by the way it is a proven fact that plastic bottled water leaks chemicals into your water that can harm your body in the long term. Therefore, look for alternatives. If you do not like the taste or odour of your tap water buy a good water filter system that will get you the best and healthiest water you can drink. For more info on bottled water, see my previous post: Are you still drinking plastic bottled water?

Electric blue bottle by Adrian Rayfield (adrian_rayfield)) on 500px.com
Electric blue bottle by Adrian Rayfield

I hope you found this post inspiring and maybe change one little thing on your next shopping tour. I am off to the shop now!

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