Community organisations and individuals are invited to put plans in place to take part in Sustainable Food Places’ Day of Celebration and Action on Food and Climate on Wednesday 29 September 2021. The day all about highlighting the role that ordinary people can play in choosing and promoting more climate friendly food, and Food Durham, the County Durham Food Partnership, is keen to encourage community organisations across the County to take part.
With the UN Climate Conference happening in Glasgow in November this year and the recent publication of the National Food Strategy for England, there is a lot of focus on the role of food in climate change, but also our health and wellbeing, and our community resilience. You may have picked up discussions in the press about projects reducing food waste (like Re-f-use CIC and Shildon Alive!) or talk about vegan and vegetarian diets and less-but-better meat. Or you may be thinking about food miles and using local and seasonal products more. All have a potential role to play and the Day of Celebration and Action hopes to celebrate the good things that are happening already and to inspire others to start changing things a little too.
At the national level, food contributes up to 30% of total GHG emissions, we waste 10 million tonnes of food every year and 90% of fisheries are fully exploited or overfished. The Climate Change Committee called for a transformation in land use across the UK alongside a reduction in food waste and consumption of the most carbon-intensive foods to reach Net Zero by 2050. 75% of councils declared a climate emergency and many have set a carbon neutral target for the area and County Durham is one of relatively few areas where the plan recognises the role of the food system.
We’re hoping that community organisations and activists will highlight some of the great work they are doing already by using hashtags #Food4Planet or #LowCarbonLunch in their social media in the run-up to the day and on the day itself. Other organisations may be able to change the food they offer on the day a little, for instance by replacing some of the meat with pulses, using only local and seasonal ingredients or including meat from agro-ecological or regenerative farms (e.g. pasture-for-life, organic etc.).
To talk through some ideas and provide a bit of inspiration the County Durham Community Good Food Network is devoting its next session on 15 September to this topic. You can sign up to this session via the link here.