Food waste is a growing problem in developed countries. Massive amounts of perfectly edible food is thrown away because of merely aesthetic blemishes. The psychological factor behind the phenomenon is disgust, which may apply in relation to edible insects, as well. That attitude ought to be reconsidered from a climate protection perspective.
Research has shown that beautiful, round apples sell much faster than equally undamaged, but less aesthetic ones. That imbalance is part of the reason why a significant proportion of the food we produce is thrown away despite being perfectly fit for consumption.
That fundamental human propensity is also a major obstacle to the acceptance of recycled sewage or foods made from insects, although they are opportunities that could furnish solutions to the food crisis caused by climate change.
Disgust is an ancient mechanism that helps us avoid rotten and unhealthy foods, so it plays an important role in our lives, but the level of disgust we feel for individual items varies with age, culture and even individually. Although it is a powerful mechanism that sets in in early childhood, Nathan S. Consedine, an expert on food psychology at the University of Auckland claims that it is easier to overcome than we would think.
The cultural factor is the easiest one to influence: for that, we primarily need to change our ideas about what we consider to be natural and self-evident.
Insect food marketing and the promotion of processed sewage should focus on reshaping our habits of thought and on presenting these less acceptable sources of protein and drinking water as a natural alternative.
Protecting our waters against pollution is in all our interests. It is no accident that an increasing number of initiatives are trying to engage society at large in taking part in the protection of the environment. The Danish NGO GreenKayak, for instance, offers free kayaking in locations around Northern Europe and all they ask in return is that kayakers should pick up waste they find in the water along the way.
Many studies have shown that time spent in nature, fresh air and a green environment has benefits not only for our bodies but also for our souls and minds. In addition to mountains, forests and meadows, waterfronts are particularly attractive destinations.
From cacti through algae and vitamin-rich flowers to drought-resistant root vegetables, Knorr and WWF have compiled a list of 50 nutritious foods whose consumption would be more advantageous for human health, while their cultivation would benefit our planet relative to our present dominant food sources.
A number of fashion designers have reacted to climate change and its consequences with their collections shown at the Paris Fashion Week.
Clean water is a great treasure, yet we waste a lot of it for no good reason: for instance, a dripping tap can waste up to 75 litres per day. It is our obligation to save water: it leaves more for others, and we can also save money.
The fashion industry is one of the most harmful for the environment: it wastes water, pollutes the air, encourages overconsumption, wastefulness and also produces massive quantities of waste. The damage caused by the monthly replacement of fast fashion collections on the shelves of fashion stores would fill a very long list. But how can we counteract it?
Most people are aware that any unnecessary calories we ingest are detrimental to our health, but few consider that food consumed in excess of our real needs – and the energy, water and other resources used for its production – is of little utility, it is practically wasted.
The textile industry is one of the most polluting industries of all: it produces microfibres and chemicals and uses huge quantities of water while making 150 billion new articles of clothing every year. The environmental load caused by the fashion industry causes inestimable damage, and the best way to counteract that is to choose clothing made of more sustainable textiles. But where are they?
In recent years, a new concept related to environmental pollution has gained wide-ranging recognition: microplastics. The term denotes pieces of plastic smaller than 5 mm resulting from the break-up of plastic items. During washing, clothing made of synthetic fibres sheds many microfibres that pollute our waters and damage our environment.
A BBC article suggests that people’s personal responsibility doesn’t stop at reducing car traffic: eating and shopping habits must also be rethought.