Launch of free Sustainable Food Guide 20th September 2005
Sustainable food is healthier for people and the planet.
So what is sustainable food? You will probably have heard of ‘organic’, ‘local’, ‘ethical’ and even ‘slow’ food. Sustainable food brings together the elements of each of these and other best practices whilst simultaneously enhancing the environment, society and wider economy.
Why we need a Sustainable Food Guide
There are growing concerns about what is in the food on our plates, and whether it is any good for us. Television and media coverage of food scares, obesity, the nutritional value of school meals together with the growing awareness of the benefits of organic and fair trade foods are sending out many confused messages about what we are eating. For example the government tell us to eat fish 3 times a week to ward off heart disease, but for how long can we do this? - The EU tells us fish stocks are outside safe biological limits .
The public is loosing confidence in the food industry. In the last three weeks problems with food production have caused Tesco to withdraw their Frozen Vegetable Spring Rolls, WeightWatchers their Mini Muffins, Waitrose 11 of their chilled ready meals, illegal cancer causing dyes have been found in Supreme products, Britvic tango containing mould…. and the list goes on. A MORI survey published earlier this year for the UK Government found that over 50% of the public are concerned about food safety, and want more information about chemicals in food.
The drive for more nutritious school meals is laudable, yet two thirds of the food a child eats is at home, where on television celebrities convince us food high in fat, sugar and salt are good for our well-being! Over £700 million will be spent on food advertising this year. How do we unscramble these mixed messages and make sense of the complex web of information? The UK government has set strategies for a more sustainable farming and food and encourages the public sector to influence change through its purchasing policy. This opens up all sorts of opportunities to innovate and develop.
About the free Sustainable Food Guide
Confidence in food and farming can be restored by providing clear and transparent information to those responsible for procuring food for our schools, hospitals, and other services. Dr Charles Clutterbuck, Director of Environmental Practice at Work , explains:
“By promoting the environmental, social & economic issues connected with food supply and production we can bring together the best practices that include animal welfare, pesticide reduction, organic and fair and ethical trade under one umbrella of Sustainable Food – food that is both healthier for people and the planet.”
He has produced a freely available on-line resource called the Sustainable Food Guide that anyone, anywhere, can access in a bid to unravel the issues.
The guide offers factual, unbiased information on all the issues covering everything from food miles, fish farming, fair and ethical trade, to food contaminants and food packaging. The guide leads to laws, standards and schemes for planning improvements.
The Sustainable Food Guide is also a portal to other food web based resources. People using the guide can access up to date information from many further sources in order to evaluate the issues and make informed choices relative to their own organisation. A simple quality system helps with the process and offers a method to review current practices, define policy, set and manage targets and promote improvements in food provision. The guide also helps people determine where they fit into the system and what their roles can be. Individuals may also be use the guide as a research tool and to suit their own circumstances.
This edition will remain freely available on the web, demonstrating how we need to work in partnership in order to promote more sustainable food.
Further features of the guide include supporting information with quizzes, search engine, site map, monthly news update, FAQs, and glossary. The site and Guide is intended to become a focus for people to go and asks for suggestions for additional links and improvements from users and visitors to the site via a ‘feedback’ function.
The Sustainable Food Guide is part of the Sustainable Food Site http://www.sustainablefood.com
To complement the Sustainable Food Guide a ‘Sustainable Food Awareness Programme’ is available and can be used in schools and online centres. This programme shows where food comes from, how it is produced, who makes it and whether it is good for us. Question and answer facilities are built into each section. A sample is available from the same web site. http://www.sustainablefood.com/trialversion.swf
The Sustainable Food Guide will be presented for the first time at the York Food Festival 20 Sept
Dr Charlie Clutterbuck tel 01282 602829
Nancy Thompson tel 01254 381289
http://www.sustainablefood.com is wholly owned by Environmental Practice at Work Co Ltd
The company is based in North West England and registered in England & Wales:
Reg no: 3718623
VAT no: 759305117