Food & Waste | Leitrim Cróga Climate Dialogue

Even though the Cróga Report doesn’t have a specific chapter on Food and Waste there was a designated table of discussion for these two topics at the Climate Dialogue. People participating in the discussion were really interested, as you can see by the number of ideas gathered throughout the afternoon.

The outcome of the Food and Waste table

The conversation took off with a brainstorm on issues regarding our food and waste generated. The main points identified by the people involved were:

  • a lot of food comes from imports
  • reduction in locally grown food: apples and forest fruits used to be grown in Leitrim
  • food is wasted (https://stopfoodwaste.ie/resource/food-in-our-bins)
  • food is too cheap – doesn’t reflect the input costs
  • there is not enough food appreciation
  • intensive use of single-use plastic
  • use of plastic packaging for food
  • confusion about proper separation of recyclables

According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, 30% of food is wasted globally across the supply chain, contributing 8% of total global greenhouse gas emissions. If food waste were a country, it would come in third after the United States and China in terms of impact on global warming.

Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/theworldpost/wp/2018/07/31/food-waste/

In the following part of the discussions we focused more on possible solutions to reduce our impact through changes in food procurement and waste management.

Possible approaches identified

The discussion was dynamic and the solutions identified were diverse:
– from changes in personal life to systemic solutions
– from education and raising awareness to practical solutions.

Improving the way we produce and consume our Food

Produce food locally

  • grow local food (e.g.: berries: raspberries, gooseberries, blackcurrants, etc. )
  • local food factory (e.g.: BO-BEEP – gem making factory)

Education – for food appreciation

  • growing your own food
  • home economics
  • work experience on the land

Consumers power – vote with your wallets

  • choose local and Irish food
  • shop from farmers market (not supermarkets)
  • buy less & more often

Government action

  • support for organic farmers
  • ban chemicals and artificial ingredients from foods

A third of all food waste in Ireland happens in our homes. It costs the average household about €700 a year. A large proportion of our wasted food still ends up in landfills where it has significant local environmental impacts. Long before we even buy our food, there are a whole load of other environmental costs associated with getting food into our trolleys.

Source: https://stopfoodwaste.ie/resources/planning-shopping/awareness

Improving waste management

Education

  • how to separate recyclable
  • the 3R’s: Reduce – Reuse – Recycle
  • personal example
  • changing our habits

Consumers power – vote with your wallets

  • bring net bags at the store
  • leave plastic packaging at the checkout
  • refusing to buy items in plastic

Government action

  • taxing plastic
  • banning plastic/ sell of products in plastic packaging
  • policies to stop producing plastic
  • taxing plastic manufacturers

The discussions we had were intense and in the end the outcome was a multitude of different approaches. These can be further developed on the newly created Leitrim Climate Dialogue Facebook Group and at our next Leitrim Climate Dialogue in Carrick-On-Shannon in February 2020.


So join us online in continuing the conversations on these topics and stay tuned for the announcement of the next Leitrim Climate Dialogue Event!