1. Shop at a farmers market
Farmers markets are one venue where you can buy directly from farmers.
Buying directly from the farmer helps the farmer retain more money from every pound spent than if they are sold through conventional food retail outlets like supermarkets. In addition to supporting farmer livelihoods, purchasing directly from your food producer lets you ask questions about how your food was grown. Not all vendors at farmers’ markets sell produce they grew themselves: different farmers markets have different rules about what can be sold.
Check out this site to search for local farmers markets in your area www.localfoods.org.uk
2. Join a community shared agriculture (CSA)
This is where the community shares in both the risks of farming and the bounty of the harvest. The way it works is you buy a ‘share’ of the farmer’s harvest in advance, giving the farmer the start up funds they need to grow their crops. Then you receive a box of food every week during the harvest. Similar to buying direct from farmers at farmers’ markets, buying direct from farmers through a CSA helps the farmer retain a greater portion of every pound you spend.
Simply post your search in Google for your nearest. I found this little gem for a CSA in Milton Keynes: www.foodtrain.org.uk
3.Try growing your own food
Growing your own food will increase your knowledge of food and reduce the miles your food has to travel to just about zero. Additionally, you’ll gain a greater appreciation for the lifestyle of a farmer.
There are numerous books on the topics of growing your own food. The internet will provide you with a vast wealth of knowledge, however if you prefer a book, one title is “The Backyard Homestead” which will provide any aspiring gardener with the basic knowledge to get started.
4. Experience farm life
As the world shifts to predominantly urban, the plight of a farmers is increasingly farther removed from our consciousness. To gain an appreciation for our food, it is important to understand where it comes from. Try holidaying at a farm.
5. Eat in season
When you’re eating peppers in the middle of winter, they came from a long way away. Eating in season means that the food you’re eating is from the same region and that you’re supporting regional farmers. For advice on how to do this, see the links below.
Foods from animals generally require more land, water and fossil fuels to produce than plant foods because not all of the feed livestock consume is converted into meat, milk and eggs. Try experimenting with vegetarian recipes or start a Meatless Monday tradition to cut back on your animal food consumption. There are many factors that contribute to efficient food production. For example, organic, grass-fed beef raised and consumed locally could be more efficient in terms of resources consumed in production than industrially produced fruits, vegetables, or vegetarian protein options produced and processed long distances from where they are consumed and shipped half way around the world to get into our supermarkets. Become informed about where your food comes from and what is required to produce it so that you can make more efficient choices.
7. Become informed about food
Gaining knowledge our the food system will help you make better choices and understand the current issues regarding food. The www.feedingninebillion.com website provides some useful pointers.
8. Concentrate on food waste
Estimates state that globally, 30% of the food grown is wasted at some point between the field and the dinner plate. Much of this waste is on the consumer end, as those leftovers aren’t as appealing on their third day. Try making this a focus in your kitchen by being conscious of it and planning smaller meals so there aren’t so many leftovers to be wasted. Additionally, preserving and processing raw vegetables is a great way to lower the amount of food waste in your kitchen. The food waste you do have you could compost.
As a society, we are continually using more of the earth to store our garbage. When you throw out compost this fills up the space in landfills and required us to use even more space for our garbage. Additionally, if you try growing your own food, the compost will help improve the quality of your food. Learn more about composting.
9.Volunteer professional skills or donate
There are many organizations which are working tirelessly to improve our food system in many ways. They require resources to keep their efforts alive. Consider donating or volunteering your skills and time as a way to get involved and make a difference.