Climate Friendly Aberlady

Reducing Household Energy

What we eat

Before our food arrives in our homes it usually completes four stages

- the farming activities

- making the raw ingredients into the food products we recognise, including the butchering of animals for meat and chilling and freezing

- the containers for shop display, keeping food fresh and for its transport. Imported soft fruits require bulky packaging to protect the product

- the product ‘food miles’, or how far they have travelled before the reach our shops. Food accounts for around 25% of European road freight

Food production has become globalised. Even though it would be impossible to harvest the products locally, we can nowadays buy food that suits our tastes and wallets whatever the season. In many cases, the products in our supermarkets have travelled thousands of miles by boat, plane or lorry, and with a high carbon tag. Some of the food harvested in the UK is sent abroad to be processed, so this has a higher carbon footprint. And conversely, some locally produced food products travels around the UK for processing and packaging.

So, when buying food some questions to consider are:

  • Where does it come from?
  • How far has it travelled?
  • Who produces it and how?
  • What are living conditions like for the people who produce our food?
  • What resources have been used producing and transporting our food?
  • Is there a more local alternative?

To eat “seasonally” sounds exotic, but all it really means is to eat the foods that grow naturally in locally in each season. It was not so long ago that most people here were growing their own food. Today farmers' markets, like that in Haddington, are increasing in the UK. They are helping to encourage people to buy fresh, local food. And over 250 communities across Scotland have been granted awards from the Climate Challenge Fund to encourage the growing of local, healthy and seasonal foods.

In Aberlady, some of the other things we may want to think about include:

  • The possibility of leasing land for community allotments
  • Growing food in our gardens