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7 Tips on Eating Differently to Impact Climate Change

During a session run by Tara Garnett from the Food Climate Research Network at the Corporate Climate Response Conference, she shared a wide range of interesting research that was likely difficult for most participants to absorb quickly enough (and extremely difficult to keep up with for blogging purposes!). Luckily, FCRN has a fantastic research archive published online at their website and also provide links to an assortment of research from other groups collected into a single archive. One of the more interesting points Garnett raised was what steps regular consumers could take in order to change their own eating habits to make an impact on CO2 emissions. This is often a little talked about topic, and as Garnett noted, it is notoriously difficult to ask consumers to do – mostly because of the huge cultural significance of food and the difficulty of sacrifice. For many consumers, however, it may simply be a lack of information. For all of them, here are 7 tips Garnett shared about ways you can change your eating habits to have an impact:

  1. Change the balance of what you eat (less meat and dairy, “lower down” on the food chain)
  2. Choose seasonal field grown foods (require less storage, heating & transport)
  3. Do not eat or purchase certain foods (including foods that are hothoused or those that are air freighted)
  4. Reduce your dependence on the “cold chain” (get rid of the second freezer, choose less processed robust foods and do more frequent non car-based shopping)
  5. Waste less food (improve your “food turnover” to eat what you buy sooner and reduce wastage)
  6. Cook more efficiently (cook for more people and for several days at a time, use the oven less frequently)
  7. Redefine your ideal for quality (be willing to accept variability in quality and supply

Anyone have any other tips to offer?

Note: This is a republished entry that was originally posted on the Climate Response Blog.

4 thoughts on “7 Tips on Eating Differently to Impact Climate Change”

  1. Great post about an important issue… thanks for doing your part to increase awareness and knowledge. An easy way to accomplish several of these points (#1, 2, 5 & 7), BTW, is to join a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) group.

    That being said, it’s harder to accomplish these goals in the winter months. I live in New England, and this time of year… it doesn’t feel like a sacrifice at all to redefine my ideals for quality and supply. But come the dead of winter, well… I suspect that’s a harder path to walk.

  2. Hi.

    I love your “green” series of posts.

    Is there a certification process that a company could go through to become a “green company”?

  3. Hi,
    It’s good to read ideas to improve our quality of life and children’s lives. I’ll have to admit that having two small children makes it hard to not be caught into the surplus style food shopping. Sometimes I feel like we have more than normal waste with foods. But I think it’s about time that my wife and I make a more conscious
    effort to decrease our family’s impact on the environment. Here’s a few more “extended” tips to add to your post:

    1) Make an effort to reduce buying food products with lots of papers, plastics, or styrofoam. Less to throw away and less for our landfills!

    2) In addition to Tara’s #4 item above, people should make a conscious effort to shop at “grower’s markets” outside of traditional grocery stores.

    I noticed that shopping at local grower’s markets in Raleigh, NC along with stores like “Fresh Market” actually helps us to save money. Plus many of these foods you buy helps local farmers.

  4. I didn’t know we shared a common interest here. Always good to find others who care about this issue.

    I was doing a little workshop on eating practices, and I kept mentioning all the places I get my food locally. Everyone wanted me to put together something they could use as a resource so I created a Google Map that shows many of the local places around DC to purchase sustainable foods.

    Here’s a short URL to it:


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