Jesus’ command to love God and love our neighbour is meant to infuse and shape every aspect of our lives – even the seemingly mundane details such as how we go about getting breakfast, lunch and dinner on the table. As Paul writes in Romans, we are to take our “everyday, ordinary life – [our] sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life – and place it before God as an offering”.
As Christians in Australia there are many practical ways we can work to renew our food system and contribute to a sustainable food future. Here are four ideas to get you started:
Food waste is a major contributor to the greenhouse gas emissions that are changing our climate. If it were ranked with countries, food would sit just behind the United States and China as the world’s third largest emitter.
Australian households throw away 3.1 million tonnes of edible food every year.
Take steps to reduce your food waste by planning your meals, using a shopping list and making the most of your leftovers. Some food waste is unavoidable – like eggshells, banana skins or tea leaves. The best option for unavoidable food waste is to set up a home compost, rather than send it to landfill.
If we have the privilege of choosing what we eat, then we are amongst the most affluent people in the world. The majority of the world’s population eat what they can get. Moving away from the typically meat-centric Western diet to a diet rich in plants can reduce your climate impact because of the lower greenhouse gas emissions associated with plant-based food compared with meat production.
Avoid food that is over-packaged, packaged in non-recyclable material or even packaged at all. This reduces what we send to landfill and cuts down the resources and materials we use to produce and manufacture our food.
Try to buy food that is Fairtrade or otherwise ethically and sustainably sourced.
Eat seasonal, locally-grown food when you can and make use of the growing number of tools, websites and apps that are designed to make ethical and sustainable shopping easier. The Shop Ethical Guide is one that can help you to make better-informed choices on your everyday grocery items.