Global Warming Facts and Effects – Global Warming Climate Change


May 16, 2015

The Decision to Shop Ethically While Ensuring Others Don’t Starve …

Category: Climate change economics – admin – 4:25 am

by: Alison Withers

Choosing to buy local, healthy food when you know it may cause someone somewhere else in the world hardship or even malnutrition or starvation is an uncomfortable decision.

We also want to do our best for our families by buying the healthiest food we can find while at the same time keeping down the cost of things like our weekly shopping bills.

How on earth can we know we’re making the right choices and being as “green” as possible, given the plethora of conflicting information we get, the inter-governmental and scientific squabbles and the sheer amount of time and energy we would have to devote to research?

How, therefore, can we eat healthily, be sure there are no chemical residues in our food and be sure also that the carbon footprint of our locally-produced food is not actually greater than food imported from somewhere else in the world?

Of course there are labels on food, but they need to be clear, understandable and consistent and checking every label on the weekly shop with a couple of tetchy toddlers in tow, perhaps, at the end of a working day, really – life’s too short!

A look at the 2009 laws on food labelling in the UK is enough to give the ordinary shopper a headache. This extract is just a sample. It says that “fibre”, in the context of nutrition labelling, means carbohydrate polymers with three or more monomeric units, which are neither digested nor absorbed in the human small intestine and then lists a string of definitions.

And then there’s packaging! Producers are bound by the Packaging (Essential REquiremnets) Regulations, which list the maximum levels of various chemicals that are allowed in the packaging, as well as levels of packaging that can be used, and requires them to be made of recyclable materials.

Also large-scale producers have to comply with the Producer Responsibility Obligations (packaging waste)Regulations.

The Food Standards Agency also has rules covering the mislabelling of foods.

So there are three sets of rules simply on packaging in labelling, before we even consider nutrition content and although it’s good that they exist what’s really needed is consistent, clear information in a language consumers can understand.

Then there are the scientific disagreements. It has been suggested, for example, that the carbon footprint of some food produced in Africa may actually be lower than it is for locally-produced organic foods.

When it comes to licensing the new low-chem agricultusal products being created by biopesticides developers there’s no more agreement.

It’s generally agreed, however, that they are much more enfironmentally friendly than many of the previous generation of chemical-based fertilisers, yield enhancers and pesticides and could potentially help keep food costs down compared to organically grown products.

These new generation biofertilisers, biofungicides and yield enhancers have the potential to help small farmers in developing countries both protect their land and improve its yield with obvious benefits to their incomes and to us all in being able to buy affordable, healthy food.

A World Health Organisation publication in 2008 on health and nutrition says a sound communication and information strategy coordinating and creating synergy among the various media is essential for supporting the adoption of healthy lifestyles and the maintenance of food safety and sustainable food supplies.

It adds that currently, messages provided through nutrition education campaigns are often contradicted by commercial communication practices ….. and that consumers find that current nutrition label formats are generally confusing and do not help them to make healthy choices.

The World Health Organisation’s assessment applies equally to this discussion.

If we are to be able to change our shopping habits to do our bit towards a more sustainable environment, reducing food scarcity and reversing the impacts of climate change we need information about what we’re buying in a form that’s consistent wherever we live, that we can rely on and in words we can understand.

Copyright (c) 2010 Alison Withers
Information on food, such as whether it has been grown using the new low-chem agricultural products being created by Biopesticides developers, is neither consistent, nor reliable. Consumer journalist Ali Withers argues for more info to help shoppers make “green” choices. http://www.agraquest.com

The author invites you to visit:
http://www.agraquest.com

@@ADSENSE@@.

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