Peterborough Quakers
Peterborough Quakers

Sustainabilty - DECEMBER - FOOD

FOOD accounts for 30% of a UK household's contribution to the climate emergency. Our conspicuous consumption and waste, especially at Christmas, significantly damage the world’s ecosystems. Extinctions from 1500 onwards were mostly caused by agriculture and exploitation.  Now, as land use intensifies and the habitats we destroy are replaced by monocultures, we are losing up to 200 species daily. We can blame beef (75% of Amazonian clearance), soya beans (75% fed to farm animals) and palm oil (prevalent in processed foods) for loss of rain forest habitats and for increased greenhouse gases. Everywhere, tractors, fertilisers, transport and packaging contribute carbon dioxide, whilst cows and rice fields produce methane, 25 times more damaging to our climate.


Waste at Xmas in the UK is equivalent to: 250,000 turkeys, 7m mince-pies, 17m sprouts, 10m carrots, 11m potatoes, 100,000 Xmas puddings.


In the 1940s one calorie of effort grew 2·3 calories of food.  Now one calorie of effort grows 1/3 of a calorie. If you include transport & processing, one calorie now only provides 1/10 of a calorie.



Eating with less Impact, whilst reflecting on our food’s sources and transportation    

  • Use more locally grown, seasonal food; produce your own!
  • Ask for ‘wonky’ fruit and veg. Make compost (or even soup) from stalks and peelings.
  • Favour chicken with known provenance and plentiful fish species over red meat.
  • Minimise meat and dairy* in favour of pulses, grains, legumes, nuts and wholefoods.
  • Press for fairly traded foods, traceability systems and carbon impact labelling.
  • Consume fewer processed foods and ready meals.
  • Choose potatoes for lower carbon emissions than rice or pasta.
  • Avoid needless packaging; if contents keep or freeze, larger packs may help.
  • Plan imaginative meals with oddments, applying common sense to ‘use-by’ dates.
  • Cut energy consumption by using induction hobs and microwaves.

* livestock production uses 1/3 of the world’s fresh water and, especially in the case of cattle, contributes substantially to greenhouse gases.

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Peterborough Quaker Meeting House

21 Thorpe Road


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Sunday 10.30–11.30 am


Wednesday 7–7.45 pm


Children & Young Peoples' Meeting is held on the second Sunday of every month.


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© Peterborough Quakers. Peterborough Quaker Meeting is part of The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Britain,Cambridgeshire Area Meeting Charity No. 1134537