Food Group Overview

The food group promotes the production and consumption of sustainable sources of food, including local food. Its 2009 awareness-raising calendar featuring pictures of fruit and vegetables from local allotments with seasonal recipes, sold out and made small profit. The group spent the latter part of the year defining its future priorities which will include:

  • providing information and support to LCWO’s Low Carbon Living Household Programme
  • working with the school to organise a meat free day every month
  • working closer with the new disability group who will be running the community cafe, (ie to encourage them to use locally sourced low carbon foods)
  • a spring event (linked in with the waste group) with a seed and seedling swap
  • a jam and preserve training seminar .
  • mapping existing fruit trees in the area.
  • promoting seasonable consumption through web site
  • contributing to the development of the a new community orchard/allotment

Eating More Sustainably

Food is a major source of green house gas emissions: household greenhouse gas emissions from food account for almost twice those produced by driving

  • 83% of the greenhouse gases from our diets come from the food production process itself
  • transport accounts for only 11 % (farm to consumer).
  • the remainder comes from wholesale/retailer stage (refrigerator, lighting etc)
Produce from West Oxford Allotment

Produce from West Oxford Allotment

Transport costs account for 11 % of the greenhouse emissions from food so eating local seasonal food can help cut greenhouse emissions. Eating less red meat and dairy can also lower the greenhouse gas emissions . Livestock accounts for 18 percent of ‘man-made’ greenhouse emissions: this includes 9 per cent of all C02, 35-40 percent of methane and 65 per cent of nitrous oxide (mainly through fertilizers). What’s more, current methods of producing animal meat are very inefficient. Only 25 per cent of the nutrients animals eat (depending on the animal) are converted into edible meat- the rest is spent on the animal’s metabolism and on building inedible nerve and bone tissue.

We also need think of the impact of our consumption on people. Many people in poor countries depend on food exports for a living. Choosing fair trade products is a way of supporting food producers from the poorest parts of the world, and promotes sustainable agricultural practices and encourages farmers to invest in environmental protection programmes too.