Delicious sustainable Christmas?
With more people – not least the Mayor of London – talking about a ‘climate emergency’ there will be no shortage of articles on how much our Christmas dinner and associated merry-making is contributing to trashing the planet. And we’ll no doubt hear how many excess calories we eat at Christmas, and how long it will take us to atone for this indulgence.
There’s no doubt we need to do more, and soon, to tackle climate change – and to take a few inches off Scotland’s collective waist line. But feasting is a part of human culture which will endure long after 2050, so let’s do it well.
First, the food. It’s true that our single-breasted organic turkeys are a net loss of calories. Wandering about the fields all day means they’ve taken more than 4 kilos of wheat and barley to make a kilo of meat, while a high-growth breed in a temperature-controlled shed of 10,000 birds would have been more efficient (and will certainly be cheaper).
So if you eat meat, that’s a choice. But the veg is easy. Christmas is the perfect time for Scottish vegetables – potatoes, parsnips, carrots, turnips, leeks, sprouts, kale, beetroot and onions – are all in season.
And whatever you buy, buying local helps to spread the seasonal goodwill around. It keeps jobs in the community, shops open on the high street, and helps farmers make a living in difficult times.
But it’s not about the food. It’s about conviviality, being in community. It’s a time for reflection and recharging, so we’re better placed to do what’s needed. And for farmers and gardeners everywhere, it’s about gratitude that whatever the winter still has in store for us, at least the light is coming back.
Pete Richie, Organic Farmer/Partner of GFPP
News from Glasgow Food Policy Partnership
GFPP has been going through some changes. In October Riikka Gonzalez started as the Sustainable Food Cities Co-Ordinator and is hoping to bring on more partners to help shape the food system in Glasgow towards a healthier and more sustainable one. We are pleased to announce that Cllr Anna Richardson (SNP) will come on board as a new elective member and we are working on getting some other new partners involved. The 3 priority areas GFPP will be working on next year are 1) Food Poverty/Insecurity 2) Food Procurement 3) Food Waste.
GFPP also supports the Glasgow Veg Cities Campaign kicked off by the chef’s vegetable cookery competition in October. More activities are planned with schools, Universities and work places energising people to eat more veg! Veg Cities is also backing up Veg Power advertising campaign kicking off in January.
Date for your diary GFPP will be hosting a Glasgow Food Summit on 29th May, so make sure you keep the date free! More details to follow at a later date.
Get in Contact If you are interested in being more involved with GFPP or want to send us an update on any food related projects: Riikka.Gonzalez@Glasgow.ac.uk
Glasgow City Council Food Insecurity Consultation/Rollout of Universal Credit
GFPP sent a response to GCC Food Insecurity Consultation last month together with Glasgow Centre for Population Health. There has also been a follow on workshop with GCC finding out the best ways to include comments from consultation responses to work of GCC.
Regarding the Universal Credit rollout GCC are working to mitigate the impacts of UC rollout, via their Financial Inclusion Team:
“Glasgow City Council has set aside budget of £2m to support citizens with digital inclusion services in relation to the rollout of Universal Credit. We are working with a number of delivery partners both internal and external to provide digital support with making a claim for Universal Credit via local hubs and can refer customers to further digital skills training as required. The funding is also being directed to those people who may experience difficulty in claiming, such as lone parents, people living with disability and those experiencing homelessness.
Those looking for guidance on how to claim universal credit, or for information on where their nearest hub location is, can access the website: www.gain4u.org.uk or call the Universal Credit Support free phone Service on 0808 169 9901.”
Good Food Nation Bill
Nourish, one of GFPP partners, along with the Scottish Food Coalition, has been campaigning for a new food Bill that will provide a new framework for our food system. At the moment, agriculture, planning, social security, or public health policies and laws are mostly done in silos, but we can’t fix the interrelated issues that plague our food system without looking at the bigger picture and joining up the dots. Nourish and the Scottish Food Coalition wants Good Food Nation Bill to enable a coherent and connected approach to food policy, which facilitates a just transition to a fair, healthy and sustainable food system.
There is an opportunity to become and Ambassador for the Bill and more details can be found here.