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Sustainable Food
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This is a good start for definitions for "sustainable food"

Bronwen Jones Head of DEFRA's Food Team says: 

"It is important first of all for everyone to be clear about what we mean by sustainable and to get a degree of consensus. Clearly we will have to have lower greenhouse gas impact and use less oils and water. We need to sustain the things we rely on to produce food, basically water, soil and biodiversity. Those are basic and without those you can’t produce food or sustain life on the planet. But then you get into other issues that are more difficult..." More

Quite. We want to join up the production of food with its consumption in determining what is sustainable. So our defintion on this site is that food "which is healthier for people and the planet". 'Health' is bought to the fore as a mesure for the environment. The environment is everything that surrounds us - including ourselves (according to Einstein apparently). So for the food is to be considered "sustainable", one third of the world's population should not be adversely affected by its consumption - which it is at present.

Other heavier defintions include..

UK Government Commision says:

  • Produce safe, healthy products in response to market demands, and ensure that all consumers have access to nutritious food, and to accurate information about food products.
  • Support the viability and diversity of rural and urban economies and communities.
  • Enable viable livelihoods to be made from sustainable land management, both through the market and through payments for public benefits.
  • Respect and operate within the biological limits of natural resources (especially soil, water and biodiversity).
  • Achieve consistently high standards of environmental performance by reducing energy consumption, by minimising resource inputs, and use renewable energy wherever possible.
  • Ensure a safe and hygienic working environment and high social welfare and training for all employees involved in the food chain.
  • Achieve consistently high standards of animal health and welfare.
  • Sustain the resource available for growing food and supplying other public benefits over time, except where alternative land uses are essential to meet other needs of society.

Sustainable Food, in the view of the Sustainable Development Commission is food and drink that:

  • Is safe, healthy and nutritious, for consumers in shops, restaurants, schools, hospitals etc Can meet the needs of the less well off people
  • Provides a viable livelihood for farmers, processors and retailers, whose emoyees enjoy a safe and hygienic working environment whether in the UK or overseas
  • Respects biophysical and environmental limits in its production and processing, while reducing energy consumption and improving the wider environment; it also respects the highest standards of animal health and welfare, compatible with the production of affordable food for all sectors of society
  • Supports rural economies and the diversity of rural culture, in particular through an emphasis on local products that keep food miles to a minimum
Chugging along or Stuck in the Mud? about a report for the Sustainable Development Commission by Levett-Therivel Sustainability Consultants, Jan 2005..

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