We can make a difference with what we eat

The food industry has a surprisingly large impact on the environment. A carbon footprint or a water footprint tells you about the environmental impact of food. When added to the place of origin of an item of food, the way it is cultivated, transported, stored, processed, packaged, distributed, and finally the amount of food waste it generates, accounts for about 20% of our total climate load. But we can’t avoid our everyday need to eat. Our food choices can, however, make a big difference to our planet.

Kuvalähde: Marttaliiton kuva-arkisto

An environmentally-friendly meal consists of:

  • Largely plant-based food
  • Very little processed/packaged food
  • Self-grown, caught or harvested food
  • Locally sourced fish
  • Seasonal food choices

The Martha Organization offers lots of great tips and advice for environmentally-friendly cooking and food choices.

Finland generates 400 million kg of edible food waste every year

Food waste refers to food that was originally edible but which, for one reason or another, ends up as waste. Around 30% of all food produced globally ends up as waste. In Finland, as much as 10-15% of all edible food is wasted throughout the food chain.

The production, transport, and preparation of food all cause significant emissions. In other words, if food ends up in the bin, all those emissions are quite literally a waste.

Home is where the waste is 

The largest proportion of food waste is generated in our homes. In Finland, the amount of food waste generated by households is approximately 23 kg per person per year — a grand total of 120-160 million kg. This corresponds to about 7,800 truckloads of food.

According to research by the Finnish Natural Resources Institute, household food waste alone costs each Finn a sum of around €125 a year.