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*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

    Editor’s notes:

    • 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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