The fifth part is about the big topic of nutrition. We want to address topics like meat consumption, food waste, and regional as well as seasonal diet.

WHy is this relevant?

Sustainability starts with the purchase of food!

Agriculture currently accounts for around 14 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions [2]. Food production accounts for almost half of these greenhouse gas emissions, followed by food storage and preparation [2]. The CO2 footprint for food in Bavaria is 1.8 t CO2/person/year. This puts Bavaria in sixth place in Germany [3].

What can I do?
  • Consume less animal products
  • Prefer seasonal fruits and vegetables
  • Buy regional producta as much as possible
  • Do your grocery shopping by foot, by bicycle or by public transport
  • Buy organic products instead of conventional goods

In Munich, 68,465 kg of edible food is thrown away every day.

Lecture Ringvorlesung Umwelt: “Foodsharing – was Lebensmittelverschwendung über unsere Gesellschaft aussagt”, Dipl.-Kffr. Günes Seyfarth, 24.10.2018

Food shopping

“Your receipt is a ballot” – You can start advocating for a more sustainable world when you shop by making a conscious choice to buy certain products.

1. Buy seasonal and regional food:

Especially with fruits and vegetables, you should pay attention to the origin. However, it is important to weigh up; regional beef is still more harmful to the climate than an avocado from Peru.

2. Buy package-free:

Many products are unnecessarily packaged; this waste can also be easily avoided (more in Chapter 8).

3. Buy sustainably produced products:

Buying organic and Fairtrade products promotes sustainable agriculture. Pay attention to the seals, because not all organic is the same.

Here you can find some useful seals to look out for when shopping:

Food waste

The best-before date

… is a consumption recommendation, but most of the time the food is still edible even if the best before date has passed.

1/3 of all edible food is thrown away!

Tips against food waste

  • Plan your purchase carefully, e.g. with a shopping list
  • Look, smell and taste before food ends up in the trash
  • Save individual (ripe) fruits in the store as well
  • Store supplies neatly and properly, e.g.
  • Put carrots in jar with water so they stay crunchy
  • Apples make other nearby fruit ripen faster, so store them preferably separate from other fruit.

Diets compared

Animal products are associated with high water consumption, high land use, high grain and soy consumption, and high greenhouse gas emissions [1]. Therefore, a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle is the most sustainable form of nutrition.

Vegans save two tons of greenhouse gases per year. That’s the equivalent of about eight economy-class flights between London and Berlin.

Rainforest clearing: 6000 square meters of rainforest are cleared every second. This is roughly equivalent to the size of 50 soccer fields. Livestock farming is responsible for over 90% of the deforested area of the Amazon. The bodies of waterare also affected: 80% of the fish stocks in the sea are already overfished [4].

Myth check for a plant-based diet

Soy is bad for the environment:

Most of the world’s soy use is for animal feed and only 22% is directly processed and used to feed people [5].

When shopping, pay attention to the origin of soy products

A vegan diet leads to deficiency symptoms

With any diet, it is important to pay attention to the balance of potentially critical nutrients

Most nutrients can be absorbed through the conscious consumption of plants. Tips:

A vegan diet is expensive:

Vegan substitutes such as vegan cheese or meat substitutes can be more expensive than cheap animal products in the supermarket

However, the majority of the diet should consist of vegetables and grains anyway (see food pyramid).