Food, nutrition and our environment - whats the link?

Food, nutrition and our environment

I challenge you to walk into your local supermarket and guess what time of year it is, just from the food on display. We have year-round access to a huge variety of fruit and vegetables but isn’t that a good thing? From both our environments perspective and our health I would argue its not. We are all aware of the food miles strawberries have to travel in December and let’s be honest how tasteless they are and they like many fruit and veg lose nutrients during their long journey. In the winter months, many fruit and veg are best eaten frozen or even tinned, the freezing process retaining the nutrients, so they are actually better for us as well as the environment.

The UK has the highest consumption of ready meals in Europe – not a fact to be proud of, but its also a fact that the more processed a food is, the worse it is for the environment and the worse it is for us from a nutrition perspective too. All that processing involves energy, water, waste and the use a lot of plastic. We know the more processed a food is, the more the cell walls of the original ingredients have been broken down and so the energy is that much more accessible to our digestive systems, not to mention the nutrients that have been stripped out like fibre and vitamins during processing.

This is a huge and complex topic, but I hope you will stop and think about how you could make some small sustainable changes in the way you eat, find simple recipes to cook from scratch, try and cook with seasonal produce, reduce your waste and reduce the amount of processed foods you eat. Good food Oxford - have a charter we can all sign up to, with ideas on how to change our eating habits for our health, where to source food, help reduce food poverty and the future of our planet.