4-a-week: Changing food consumption in the UK to benefit people and planet

Publication date

06 Mar 2009

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The food we buy every week can have huge impacts on people and environments seemingly worlds away from our regular dash round the shops. The futures of some of the world's poorest people and of the global environment are intimately linked to the contents of our shopping baskets. How we shop, what we eat, and what we throw away are becoming frontline issues in the effort to tackle climate change. In the UK, we need to change how and what we consume, while at the same time helping people living in poverty around the world to improve their lives.

Many people in the UK recognise that changing how they consume can make a difference, but we are constantly bombarded with complex and conflicting advice on making ethical food choices. This paper examines both the social and environmental implications of food consumption in the UK. It cuts through the confusion consumers face, and sets out four ways in which we can adapt our consumption habits to achieve both environmental and social sustainability and justice.