Eat sustainably

UK households waste 6.5 million tonnes of food every year, 4.5 million of which is edible. Reducing food waste is good for the planet, as it helps slow down global warming.

By using up leftovers and transforming them into something delicious and choosing more eco-conscious eating such as a low-carbon diet, you’re doing your bit to look after the environment. If we all pull together around these core messages we will have better health and we will have a positive impact our environment – we will push our food systems to sustainability.

Shop zero-waste

Make sure you’re making purchases from places where sourcing, development, and use of packaging have minimal environmental impact and footprint. Liv is an organic and natural food market in the Liverpool city centre with packaging-free selections of spices, pulses, fruits, grains and cereals that can be purchased in bulk. There are so many places like this that are easily accessible from the University – Little World being another one.

Buy Fairtrade

Fairtrade Fortnight is a great time to get into the habit of thinking about where the things you buy come from. Buying items that have the Fairtrade logo ensures a fairer price for workers

Shop around

Spending in local food outlets supports three times more jobs than national supermarket chains.

Cook more 

Ready-meals and pre-cooked ingredients are terrible for the environment. Not only do they generate more waste, a lot of which being plastic, they also require more refrigeration throughout their lifecycle compared to a homemade meal, and therefore consume energy. Try experimenting with some fresh and leftover ingredients to create a home cooked meal.

Grow your own food

Growing your own fruit, vegetables and herbs will not only diversify your garden, but will also cut your carbon emissions significantly by providing you with an organic and local food supply. Grow some herbs yourself at home or visit the Guild’s roof garden where you can help to grow fruit, vegetables, salads and herbs which is then freely available for students and staff to consume.

Cook more of what you eat

Save time by preparing meals for more than one day, and freeze the extra portions for later.

Use leftovers 

Transform your leftovers into delicious meals, check out Love Food Hate Waste for simple everyday food hacks and tips for making the most of your food, such as recipes, food storage and meal planners.

Eat seasonally – try to buy seasonally available ingredients. Eat seasonally helps you find out when fruit and vegetables are in season and how to grow them.

Donate surplus food 

Check out the FoodCycle project, which tackles food waste, food poverty and youth empowerment by collecting surplus local food and using it to prepare nutritious meals for the local community.

Don’t overbuy

Be mindful with your purchases as increased purchasing leads to a considerable amount of food waste. This waste then gets thrown into landfill which produces lots of methane and also leads to increased production which uses up a lot of energy and creates even more waste.

Check the label

Look out for labels for organisations which protect the environment and protect workers’ rights, such as Fairtrade FoundationWFTO Fairtrade OrganizationSoil Association and Rainforest Alliance

Healthy eating

Historically, food has never been as cheap compared to other goods and services we spend money on. In the UK on average we spend 7-8% of our income on food, go back 50 years this would have been above 20%.

Why is food so cheap? Because the price we pay does not cover the costs of damage our food systems create to the environment and to our own health. A recent study in the USA indicates that for every dollar spent on food there is two dollars on cost to the environment and human health. The food system in the USA is similar to that is the UK with a heavy dependency on long food chains and a high proportion of food consumed that is processed and ultra-processed.

For your own health limit your consumption of processed and ultra processed food – science has shown that this type of food prevents you from controlling your eating large quantities. Remember processed food means someone else has take the decision on what is in your meal, you do not have control.

Aim to eat foods that you select and prepare from basic ingredients.

Responsible consumption of meat – meat contains high quality protein and micronutrients but you do not need large quantities every week. The more you eat meat, the greater impact this has on how land is farmed and the environment is affected.

Ensure that your diet is predominantly based on vegetables and fruit.

Do you need help?

The University offer Money Advice and Guidance to help students with any financial difficulties, including managing the cost of living, including the University Hardship Fund. Liverpool Guild of Students also offers a short-term (4 week) emergency loan service for students in immediate hardship which can be used for food and other essential items.

If you do need to use food banks, they are here to help. The closest food bank to the University of Liverpool is the South Liverpool food bank, located on Lawrence Road. There are other food banks that are accessible to all, such as the North Liverpool food bank on Larkhill Lane. A full list of support and food banks in Liverpool can be found here. To get a referral, all you need to do is call or email the food bank, who will guide you to the right referral agent for you.

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