Sustainable food choices

We want to make eco-friendly food choices but lack knowledge, finds WWF

Katie Hill - Editor-in-Chief, My Green Pod

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Published: 20 November 2021

This Article was Written by: Katie Hill - My Green Pod

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More than 70% of Brits (71%) believe that we should eat food that is better for the environment, but 65% think sustainable options are too expensive and 68% that they are difficult to identify and find in shops, according to new research from WWF.

A third say labelling on food products is unclear and not enough information is available. 

Understanding food’s impact

The survey, commissioned for WWF’s Eat4Change programme, has also found Brits feel they know little about the different environmental impacts of food.

Just 53% claim to know anything about destruction of land for agriculture, 50% about pollution of water, air and soil and 59% about food’s impacts on global warming and climate change.

‘There is a clear public appetite to reduce the impact of what we eat on the environment. The food we produce and buy is responsible for 60% of global nature loss – it needs to be much easier for us all to make greener choices.

‘Eating sustainably needn’t cost a fortune and lots of people making small changes to their diet can make a big difference for our planet.’

KATIE WHITE
Director of advocacy and campaigns at WWF-UK

Choosing sustainable food

More than 70% of Brits think the UK government should have clear rules for any food imports labelled ‘sustainable’ and 70% also believe all food products sold here should be sustainable and not have caused any loss of nature.

Two-thirds (65%) believe that eating sustainable food is key in tackling climate change and the destruction of nature. 

Nearly half (49%) of respondents think our food has a negative impact on the environment – yet only a third believe their own food choices are negative.

They believe responsibility for reducing the environmental impact of our food lies with the UK government (58%), food manufacturers and distributers (58%) and supermarkets and restaurants (45%).

Respondents also thought it important to buy food with minimal packaging (41%) and which was unprocessed (36%).

Food outcomes at COP26

These findings come in the light of new announcements at the COP26 climate summit. In the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land use, more than 100 countries signed up to a pledge to reverse deforestation and land degradation by 2030.

The CEOs of Co-op, M&S Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose also committed to slash their impact across climate, deforestation and nature and lead the way for the whole food retail sector to halve its overall impact on the natural world by 2030, as tracked by WWF. 

WWF is encouraging people to download its My Footprint App for help and advice and to take simple food challenges to change how they eat for the planet. These include trying plant-based milk on cereal and making more meals from scratch. 

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