Meat production is a substantial contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, and raising livestock takes up vast amounts of valuable land, as well as food and water required keep them healthy. Some figures quoted about agriculture itself – it accounts for 70 – 85% of the world’s water footprint, and 30% of world greenhouse gas emissions (2.5 times more than global transport) (1). Some new innovations are emerging on lab grown or in-vitro meats, created from meat cells however, currently the cost to produce lab grown meat is very large (2). Another alternative to livestock is to eat insects as a protein alternative – this is a very sustainable and ecologically viable food source. Consuming insects is commonplace in many countries, and now western countries are starting to realize the marketing potential of insects as a viable and valuable protein alternative. Check out our ‘Cricket Flour Banana Cake’ recipe below!
Try to purchase food at local markets to support your local farmers and suppliers. This helps keep transport and production costs down. When you shop locally you are supporting the community, and this encourages more production of food by the community, and you actually know exactly where and who produced the food
Start small – try windowsill herbs or patio pots of vegetables, or maybe go large; if you have some garden or land, try to grow some fruit and vegetables using minimal fertilizers and try organic remedies to keep the pests away. If you have prolific fruit or vegetables harvest (too much to store or preserve), consider setting up a neighborhood exchange system, swapping lemons for passion fruit or tomatoes for broccoli. It is a fantastic friendly neighborhood initiative and it prevents food spoilage and waste.
When you eat fruits and vegetables that are in season from local stores, the food contains the most nutrients possible. If you purchase food from overseas, it is usually chemically treated in some way to prevent spoilage, and refrigerated (often for months) before you consume the food, and hence the nutrient quality is lower. If you purchase a lot of food in season, try to preserve the food yourself so you can enjoy in later months, or share and swap food with your neighbors.
Most purchased fruits and vegetables in supermarkets use a ridiculous amount of plastic that is mostly non-biodegradable, and is thrown away. Try to bring your own cloth bags for purchasing your fruits and vegetables (these bags can be washed and reused with minimal effort). Take cloth bags for packaging your groceries, and try to purchase products in recyclable materials such as glass or aluminum. Consider using a local butcher, and bring in your own reusable containers for weighing and purchasing your fresh meats. Avoid plastic drink bottles and use a good quality reusable bottle, preferably made from recyclable materials or glass to last a long time.
We have a fabulous presentation by a very knowledgeable and talented nutritionist Hannah Gentle, who has spent time working in communities focusing on sustainable eating and living. Please check it out.
Cricket Flour Banana Cake
Makes 6 slices of cake
100 g Crunchy Critters Cricket Flour (1 packet)
1 c wholemeal flour
½ c light brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
300 mL oil
2 ripe mashed bananas
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 °C.
2. Mix the dry ingredients together first, then mix the wet ingredients into the mixture. Combine all ingredients stirring well to blend.
3. Pour into a greased, lined cake tine and place into the oven for about 35 minutes.
1. Smetana, S., Mathys, A., Knoch, A., & Heinz, V. (2015). Meat alternatives: life cycle assessment of most known meat substitutes. The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, 20(9), 1254-1267.