*BLOG* Barbara Bray; Eating Sustainably and Healthy
Eating sustainably – why it matters to our bodies and the planet! Registered Nutritionist (AfN) and food safety consultant, Barbara Bray MBE, shares the reasons why it is important that we eat healthily and sustainably… The importance of eating a healthy balanced diet is something many of us are aware of, however, did you know that what we eat can affect the planet too? From choosing cooking methods that use less energy*, to choosing sustainably produced foods, every food decision we make can impact the environment. Whilst we grow a lot of the food we need in Britain – from fruit and vegetables to dairy and meat – we also import food from other countries, which is why it is important our choices are both healthy and sustainable.
So, what decisions can we make to keep ourselves healthy as well as our planet?
It is the overall diet rather than individual foods which are healthy or unhealthy, which is why I live by the mantra ‘Eat a rainbow’ – eat a range of fruit and vegetables of different colours every day. Eating a varied diet gives your body an array of essential vitamins and minerals. Healthy meals should include plenty of fruit and vegetables, wholegrains, pulses or some meat, fish or dairy items (many of which you will be able to see growing on LEAF Open Farm Sunday on 27th June).
Buying food produced to high environmental standards, like those from LEAF Marque certified farms. These products have been grown sustainably to high environmental standards by farmers who are reducing their carbon footprint, improving soils, minimising energy use, reducing waste, recycling products and taking active steps to boost biodiversity. LEAF Marque farmers are delivering climate positive action through resilient, nature-based farming techniques.
It is great to have a wide choice of foods, but it is equally important to plan meals to ensure you waste as little as possible. Farmers spend months and years nurturing the land, growing crops and caring for livestock whilst protecting and enhancing the environment. If the food which they produce, ends up in the bin, uneaten, then the energy used to produce it has been wasted — the waste then produces greenhouse gas emissions contributing to climate damage.
Cooking our meals from scratch using core ingredients, such as fruit and vegetables, meat and dairy products, is a great way to ensure we are eating healthily and getting all of the essential nutrients we need.
Choose cooking methods that use less energy, such as microwaving a jacket potato instead of baking it in the oven uses less energy or boiling water for pasta in a kettle, rather than heating up an open pan of water on the gas cooker. UIT Cambridge Ltd. — Food and Climate Change without the hot air
For further information contact the LEAF Open Farm Sunday Press Office at
Ceres 01189 475 956 firstname.lastname@example.org
- LEAF Open Farm Sunday is managed by LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming) — the leading organisation delivering and promoting Climate Positive action, thriving, resilient and exemplar agro-ecological farming at an increasingly global level. Working with farmers, the food industry, scientists, environmentalists, teachers, young people and consumers we are looking at new ways to deliver productivity and prosperity among our farmers, enrich the environment and engage young people and society in a valuable and meaningful way. LEAF set up and has managed LEAF Open Farm Sunday since it began in 2006. (LEAF is a registered charity no: 1045781)
- LEAF Open Farm Sunday 2021 will take place on 27th June 2021. If there are tighter restrictions due to Covid, another digital day of virtual farm tours will be organised.
- Sponsors of LEAF Open Farm Sunday include: AHDB, Arla Foods, Asda, BASF, Co-op, Farmers Weekly, Frontier Agriculture, John Deere, Kellogg’s, LEAF Marque, NFU, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose.
LEAF is a registered charity (No. 1045781) and a company limited by guarantee registered in England (No. 3035047).
About Barbara Bray
Barbara is a TEDx speaker and director of her own consultancy business Alo Solutions Ltd driving and delivering food safety in food supply chains and helping manufacturers with sustainable nutrition strategy. She facilitates SCOUT workshops, a short and sharp tool used to enable food manufacturers to focus on a key issue and use a multi-disciplinary group of consultants to find new approaches to solve it.
Her latest initiative is the Healthy and Sustainable Food platform created with two fellow consultants. It brings together people from sectors including finance, food industry, health, agriculture, pharma and education to collaborate on solutions for sustainable nutrition. In conjunction with Beanstalk Global, 3 broadcasts have been made this year about healthy and sustainable food.
She has been runner-up in the Caroline Walker Trust award for Freelance Nutritionist of the Year in both 2019 and 2020.
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