The Sustain Guide to Good Food: How to help make our food and farming system fit for the future

Not sure whether to buy local or organic, fish or meat, from the farmers' market or supermarket? This guide should help. Drawing on the expertise of Sustain's member organistions it sets out what you can do - and ask others to do - to help make our food and farming system fit for the future.


The main features of a sustainable food and farming system are well understood even though, at the moment, there is no legal definition of ‘sustainable food’. There are, however, lots of examples of good accreditation schemes, like those certifying ‘organic’ and ‘Fairtrade’ food, which are clearly defined.

Sustain’s working definition, developed in consultation with our membership of expert organisations, is that sustainable food – in other words, good food - should be produced, processed, bought, sold and eaten in ways that:

  • Provide social benefits, such as safe and nutritious products, and improve people’s experiences of good quality food, for instance by growing and cooking it, which helps to enrich our knowledge and skills, and our cultural diversity;
  • Contribute to thriving local economies that create good jobs and secure livelihoods – both in the UK and, in the case of imported products, in producer countries;
  • Enhance the health and variety of both plants and animals (and the welfare of farmed and wild creatures), protect natural resources such as water and soil, and help to tackle climate change.

The Sustain Guide to Good Food sets out what we and our members consider to be essential aspects of a healthy and sustainable food system, with lots of ideas and links for what you can do - and ask others to do - to help make our food and farming system fit for the future.


Report contents

  • Summary
  • Aiming to be waste free    
    • The problem
      • Wasting food
      • Wasting packaging
    • What we can do
      • Love Food, Hate Waste
      • Lighten up on packaging
      • Ask businesses and policy makers to take action
      • Stay informed
  • Eating better, and less meat and dairy produce      
    • The problem
      • Meat, dairy and ill-health
      • Contributing to climate change
      • Undermining animal welfare
    • What we can do
      • Buy better, and less meat and dairy produce
      • Ask businesses and policy makers to take action
      • Stay informed
  • Buying local, seasonal and  environmentally friendly food      
    • The problem
    • What we can do
      • Buy local and seasonal
      • Buy from trusted schemes
      • Ask businesses and policy makers to take action
      • Stay informed
  • Fairtrade     
    • The problem
    • What we can do
      • Fair trade and food miles
      • Ask businesses and policy makers to take action
      • Stay informed
  • Selecting fish only from sustainable sources     
    • The problem
      • Empty seas
      • Fish and health
    • What we can do
      • Ask businesses and policy makers to take action
      • Stay informed
  • Getting the balance right     
    • The problem
      • Fatty, sugary, salty food
      • Food safety
    • What we can do
      • Ask businesses and policy makers to take action
      • Stay informed
  • Growing our own, and buying the rest from a wide range of outlets    
    • The problem
      • We’ve lost touch with our roots
      • The power of the big supermarkets
    • What we can do
      • Grow our own
      • Spread around our shopping pounds
      • Ask businesses and policy makers to take action
      • Stay informed
  • You’ve got better food, now…    
    • Save energy
    • Conserve water
    • What we can do
  • References    

 

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21/06/2013
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Sustain advocates food and agriculture policies and practices that enhance the health and welfare of people and animals, improve the working and living environment, promote equity and enrich society and culture.

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