Today’s food market is incredibly difficult to navigate it you want to buy food that is genuinely green. The labeling and misleading names of products is often just the start of the problem as a consumer. And who has time to read every word written on the back of a label, especially when it is often in such tiny writing that you need to carry a strong magnifying glass around to read it.
Of course, food taken from your backyard is most likely to be the most ‘green’ – with zero carbon miles, easy to know where it is made, and you get to eat it fresh. It is arguably the best option for making a difference with food. But some foods are not possible to grow in our backyard or in a window pot – should we just go without? While other foods we just don’t want to give up, even when our budget is tight. But how do we discern whether those foods are good or bad? Whether they are extractive (earth taking without care) or regenerative (earth giving with nurture)? How do we know if the food has exploited people as well as our earth? Does it matter?
Food is the most fundamental need for our day-to-day lives – we need it to survive. However, we have gone well past food as survival – a quick review of the large catalogue of food related media and television series tells us this. Have we taken it too far? Ought we try and start getting our taste-buds back to the basics, without all of the salty and sugary and chemical additives? Ought we begin to see treats as simply that – only coming out on special occasions?
And when it comes to provenance, over the last 10 years we have seen a focus by some countries to instill this in the mindset on food but was that just a passing phase? Supermarkets across the world still stock food with little or no provenance and we see products with all sorts of tricks to avoid making it easy to see where the ingredients are from.
Do we need to take more of an effort to know where our food comes from? Do we need to stop buying foods unless we do? Is keeping it local critical? Is that practical for the production of food that we want and need to buy?
If Earth could Talk what would she say? What would she recommend we do in terms of food?
Interviewee Lucy Bennetto
Lucy is the founder and CEO of Bennetto Natural Foods, a Net Climate Positive, B-Corp Certified, and a living wage accredited employer that makes organic fair trade chocolate.
She has spent years developing a product that nurtures both the environment and the people who produce it, and finding collectives that enable fair and supportive practices.
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