local food columnThis week is the first of a two week International Rebellion that aims to spark meaningful and urgent political action around our climate and ecological emergency. This Extinction Rebellion (arguably the most important movement of our lives), has three simple asks:

1.Tell the truth: The Government must tell the truth by declaring a climate and ecological emergency, working with other institutions to communicate the urgency for change.

2. Act now: The Government must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.

3. Beyond politics: The Government must create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice.

When talking about the ecological emergency, it is impossible to ignore the role our food system plays in both supporting a transition to zero carbon economies and in restoring the health of ecosystems and ultimately ourselves.

Food therefore plays an important role in the two week Rebellion and in the transition we all inevitably need to undertake. For example, activities around Lambeth Bridge in London will focus on the need for global food justice for all. And Animal Rebellion, in solidarity with Extinction Rebellion, is calling on the government to end ‘destructive animal farming and fishing industries, and lead a transition to a just, sustainable plant-based food system’.

Food is also something that we can all take action around- no matter if you take part in the Rebellion activities or not.

Individual actions we can take include: eating less meat, trying a vegan diet, cutting household food waste to zero and planting a tree or two in our back gardens (if we have one). We can: start composting (if we have a garden), eat more seasonal produce and buy more food direct from local producers where possible. We can also start using organic methods of growing in our back gardens and on our allotments. For more ideas see the 52 Climate Action website: www.52climateactions.com

If we have the energy and time we could also support more systemic solutions at the local level. We can: join or start a local community garden. We can support our local gleaning network or Sustainable Food City Lancaster’s wider work in supporting our local food system in becoming more resilient and fair. If we run a food business we can also look at options for procuring more sustainable and local food or shifting towards a more plant based and seasonal menu.

We can also contribute to consultation processes around relevant policies. For example, there is a currently a call for evidence to be submitted into the National Food Strategy consultation process (deadline 25th October).

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