This week we visited The Urban Co-Op, a retail grocery store and community wellness hub that has over 2,500 members. Managing Director Anne Maher told Live 95 how the initiative aims to provide an alternative to processed foods to benefit member’s lifestyles and the environment.
Did you know…
- A co-op is a shop owned by community members.
- Ireland imports just under one million tons of fruit and vegetables each year.
- The urban co-op was inspired by Weston A. Price Foundation, an organisation dedicated to restoring nutrient dense food in the American diet.
- A study in the Journal of Public Health Nutrition said the Irish shopping basket contained 45.9 percent ultra processed foods.
What is the environmental impact of eating processed food?
- Processed food contributes to biodiversity loss, as many staple crops such as wheat and maize are grown in monocultures and use artificial chemicals and fertilisers.
- Processed foods tend not to be nutritious, and this causes people to overeat and contributes to overconsumption.
- The world’s food system generates one third of all greenhouse gas emissions, with factors such as processing, refrigeration and transportation contributing to this.
- Ultra-processed foods often contain ingredients that contribute to tropical deforestation such as palm or soy oils.
- Processed food also leads to more food waste, with about half of food waste happening in the supply chain between farms and manufacturers- before the food has even reached your plate!
- Processed foods are often packaged in single use plastic.
How can I reduce the amount of processed food I eat?
- Try cooking from scratch, with raw ingredients from sustainable, locally made produce.
- Try to cut down on the amount of food you buy with plastic packaging.
- Support your local suppliers to reduce the amount of transport and refrigeration involved in getting the food to your plate!
Here’s a few websites if you want to know more!
https://www.westonaprice.org/#gsc.tab=0 – The Weston A Price Foundation