Are you and your loved-one going out for a romantic meal this Valentine’s Day? Or maybe a special meal at home? What food will you choose to enjoy – your favourite or something with good environmental credentials? Food is an essential, it brings people together, it helps us celebrate, it can be a reward and a treat. We all have a favourite - What food would you hate to lose because of a changing climate? RSPB Scotland's Jim Densham talks about the changes we can make to show our love for greener food.
Show the Love for Greener Food
Show the Love this year is focussing on the food we love and how climate change might affect it. A new report by the organisers of Show the Love explains how climate change threatens British-grown fruit and veg. It says the lack of water and extreme heat of last summer’s heatwave affected potato crops so much that it has cut more than one inch off the size of the average chip!
At the other climatic extreme, almost a year ago we were suffering the icy blast of the Beast from the East. This chaotic weather blanketed Scotland in snow, farm animals died in snowdrifts and heavy snowfall damaged farm buildings. The supply chain was put under pressure too – my local supermarket shelves were constantly empty of milk and bread.
Climate change isn’t just a problem for farmers or for our plates. Our wildlife needs farmers to continue farming – although in different ways to before. Many species, like the lapwing and skylark need a farmed landscape in order to thrive, so abandoned land or big changes to what we grow in the fields in response to the climate impacts could spell disaster for these specialists.
Farmers need to be part of nationwide efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and avoid the worst of climate change by adopting greener farming practices. It’s in their own interests. Using fertilisers more efficiently, making sure farm animals are healthy and better soil care are all examples of essential green farming practices, but some farmers will need to take novel approaches like agroforestry. On the whole these greener farming techniques are great for farmland birds and wildlife, and will help reduce the pressure that the changing climate is having on our native birds right now.
Do you care about food and how its grown in Scotland? Do you care about the threat that climate change is having on birds right now? Here are two things you can do this Valentine’s Day – as well as enjoying that romantic meal.
Help call for strong targets in the Climate Change Bill and for the new legislation to encourage greener farming practices and systems. With our coalition partner Stop Climate Chaos Scotland you can ask your MSPs for an ambitious Bill which halts climate change and helps wildlife.
Look out for the Scottish Food Coalition’s Good Food Nation campaign. The Scottish Government wants to hear from you between now and March 29th about the problems and solutions for Scotland’s food system. We are members of the Scottish Food Coalition, and we are calling for a new law on food – a Good Food Nation Bill – which will help us shift to a sustainable and climate-change-proof food system. We have set up an easy and quick way for you to send your views to the Scottish Government through our online e-action. Click here to take action and show the love for our food, our climate, and a future Good Food Nation.
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