The big problem in current times is how to efficiently feed the population. For now, food accessibility means we are buying mostly processed food in our supermarkets or from fast food eateries. Small markets and businesses are becoming obsolete in the quest for efficiency. We have become so used to large scale life and have adapted to consumer culture, which will not be fleeting anytime soon. The consequence of large scale life is that we are running out of water and killing so much life around us with the pollution we are creating. Large scale production requires shortcuts in the form of fossil fuel eating machines and transportation of our produce around the world. However, it is going to be difficult to reverse this trend of growing, and we will need to take small steps to become a more sustainable society and world population of humans. In order to change eating habits and lower our eco-footprint, we could start with bringing sustainability to supermarkets.
One of the best articles I stumbled upon was Food & Wine’s look of 12 different sustainable practices in supermarkets. Among the proposed ways to be more “green”, all have the common goal of reducing waste. By buying in bulk, without any or with little packaging, and having re-usable containers, consumers can slow the rise of landfills, and counteract the pollution produced by food consumerism. The “zero-waste” and “minimalism” movements are growing among our generation and can be seen as a major themes for upcoming YouTube channels (i.e. Trash is For Tossers).
We always hear the slogan “retrain your brain” which is being utilized to introduce more sustainable options to consumers in supermarkets. The Baltimore Sun reported on Giant Food, a company that is utilizing labeling and ratings to entice buyers into sustainable produce. This may be a great way to initially gain momentum for this movement.
And better yet, if that is not popular, the government can intervene themselves. The Guardian’s article discusses France’s new legislation that is cracking down on food waste. Specifically, they are restricting supermarkets from wasting and discarding unsold food. Instead, the surplus will be heading to charities or food banks. Organizing how to prevent waste and efficiently re-purpose it are in the works, but governments have great power to influence these positive changes.
“French law forbids food waste by supermarkets”- The Guardian
“Inside America’s Most Sustainable Supermarket”- Food & Wine
“Supermarkets look to sustainability as the next organic”- The Baltimore Sun