Exploring how our food choices can help tackle the climate and nature emergencies.
Plate Power! Why food is at the heart of tackling our biggest challenges
Food is the single strongest lever to optimise human health and environmental sustainability on EarthSummary Report of the EAT-Lancet Commission
Without reform of our food system, biodiversity loss will continue to accelerate. Further destruction of ecosystems and habitats will threaten our ability to sustain human populationsFood system impacts on biodiversity loss, Chatham House
What we eat, the way it is produced, how it gets to our plate and what we do with what we don’t eat has impacts way beyond our own health. It is becoming increasingly clear that we need to make changes, individually and globally, for the sake of our own health as well as that of the planet. But what changes? And who needs to make them? What can we do at an individual level? What can we do in our communities, places of study or employment? Who is already doing interesting, exciting or fun stuff that shows what a sustainable food future could look like, in Reading as well as further afield?
Sustainability bites! is our attempt to start to get to grips with some of these questions in small, bite-size chunks.
Sustainability bites! The project
We thought that the best and most enjoyable way for us to get our heads around what healthy diets and a sustainable food system might look like in the homes and on the streets of Reading was to explore the practical challenges ourselves and share what we learn, initially with each other but also through short blog posts.
We are not experts and do not want to pretend that we are. This is very much a ‘learning by doing’ sort of project. Depending on the individual challenge our response is to explore the issue, connect with others or experiment with solutions, or a combination. We are starting with the questions and challenges that have literally fallen on to our plates: menu planning, changing diets, waste-free shopping.
To kick the project off, Emily has written a blog post sharing how she and her partner have settled on starting each week by planning a flexible weekly menu with an eye on limiting food waste and increasing plant protein without cutting out meat altogether.
Roots across Reading
Reading already has a well-established, active food and growing community. We know that we are not the only ones thinking and talking about food. We will be actively looking to connect with other groups in order to draw on their knowledge and, where we can, collaborate in sharing learning.
One of the catalysts for us in deciding to make food a focus was the ‘climate-friendly diet’ action in the new Reading Climate Emergency Strategy (https://readingcan.org.uk/our-plan/resources/) We are lucky as a town to have the resources of University of Reading so close. An early action will be to explore how we can connect.
What we’ll be doing over the coming few months
This is a new project. We are very much feeling our way at the moment. But we are excited to be doing something to get to grips with this important challenge. Also, we just enjoy talking about food!
Inevitably to start with activities will be bounded by the ongoing pandemic. But we’ve learnt that there is scope to make a virtue of limitations. We can still have online chats to explore connections, bring people together virtually and build plans for activities later in the year.
Our values as a group of volunteers are to engage, connect, collaborate and learn. And to have fun in the process. If you are also on a food journey and would like to share your learning or join in with the conversation do please get in touch.
Sustainability Bites! updates
- Making a plan 10/02/2021
Other food related news
- New Beginnings open a fridge to the community 06/07/2019
- How are Reading’s Eateries doing on the Single-use Plastics Front? 14/02/2019
- Food rescue stories: Bread and Butter Pudding 21/11/2017
- Inside London’s first plastic-free shop 10/09/2017
- Goodbye Clingfilm, Hello Beeswax 27/08/2017