Be Unpackaged

Sustainable food management

We all know that excess packaging is the curse of food shopping. Here is a solution that is so simple and corresponding to the principles of sustainable food.

Catherine Conway has set up a stall at an outdoor market where she sells affordable organic and fair trade dry foods such as nuts, grains, beans, rice, sugar and dried fruits. Unpackaged. You bring your own container or she will sell you a handy reusable one. That’s it. When you run out, you come back for a refill. It is convenient, clean-looking( everything is displayed in stacked, clear containers) and stylish, as can be seen by her logo. She won a competition for young entrepreneurs with unique ethical business ideas and got six months training from experts and now she is expanding to a second locale in London. Mainly she is on a mission to change people’s habits when it comes to “evil packaging”. As she says: “While some packaging is recycled, most ends up in landfill sites and some packaging is just difficult and often impossible to recycle. Recycling is certainly part of the solution, but it will only work if we use less packaging in the first place and adopt more reusable ways of doing things- it is this ethos of reuse that Unpackaged is based on”. Bravo!

7 principles of sustainable food

  • Use local, seasonally available ingredients as standard, to minimize energy used in food production, transport and storage.
  • Specify food from farming systems that minimize harm to the environment, such as certified organic produce.
  • Limit foods of animal origin (meat, dairy products and eggs) served, as livestock farming is one of the most significant contributors to climate change, and promote meals rich in fruit, vegetables, pulses, whole grains and nuts. Ensure that meat, dairy products and eggs are produced to high environmental and animal welfare standards.
  • Exclude fish species identified as most ‘at risk’ by the Marine Conservation Society, and choose fish only from sustainable sources – such as those accredited by the Marine Stewardship Council.
  • Choose Fair-trade-certified products for foods and drinks imported from poorer countries, to ensure a fair deal for disadvantaged producers.
  • Avoid bottled water and instead serve plain or filtered tap water in reusable jugs or bottles, to minimize transport and packaging waste.
  • Promote health and well-being by cooking with generous portions of vegetables, fruit and starchy staples like whole grains, cutting down on salt, fats and oils, and cutting out artificial additives.

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