Social Responsibility and Sustainability

5 steps to good food

Good Food is food and drink that is tasty, healthy, good for the environment and good for the people who make it.

5 steps to good food icons (world, shopping basket, pot, strawberry, food bin)

The wonderful thing about food is you get three votes a day. Every one of them has the potential to change the world.

Michael PollanAuthor and activist


1. Buy fairly traded

Basket with on bunch of bananas, and two banana trees versus two bunches of bananas in basket and one tree

Did you know? The UK retail price of bananas has roughly halved in the past decade, while producer costs have doubled.

Source: Guardian

Buy fairly traded goods to ensure farmers are paid a fair price for their goods, have decent working conditions and use environmentally friendly growing practices.

Find out more about Fairtrade

2. Shop around

Three employees versus one employee and a self service checkout

Did you know? Spending in local food outlets supports three times more jobs than national supermarket chains.

Source: Campaign to Protect Rural England

Explore Edinburgh’s local food scene; from farmers' markets and veg box deliveries to independent producers and cafés.

3. Don’t just eat... cook!

Jar of tomato pasta sauce and slice of cake illustration

Did you know? Many ready-made pasta sauces have between 6 and 12 grams of sugar per serving (the same as a slice of cake).

Source: Independent

Cook more of what you eat. You’ll know what’s in your food and save money too. Save time by preparing meals for more than one day and freeze extra portions for later.

NHS advice on eating well

4. Eat more plants

A cow, bottle of milk and burger beside a plane, car and bus

Did you know? The livestock sector produces 15% of carbon pollution (the same as exhaust emissions from all the world’s vehicles).

Source: Chatham House

Make room for plants! Eating veggie a few days a week will cut your carbon footprint and save you cash. A vegetarian’s footprint is about 2/3 of the average meat eater’s. If you do buy meat & dairy, choose higher welfare.

Find out about the part-time carnivore campaign

5. Reduce waste

60 percent of plate of food highlighted

Did you know? 60% of the food we throw away could have been eaten.

Source: Wrap

Plan your meals, keep track of what’s in the fridge, don’t cook more than you need and freeze or share leftovers with friends. You’ll save money and help the environment in the process – win win!

More information from Love Food Hate Waste

Go further

Good food go further icons
  • Edinburgh is a Fairtrade University. Look out for Fairtrade beverages, bananas and other products at University and Students’ Association outlets.
  • To maximise the environmental benefit of shopping local, it’s important to buy products that are also in season. Pick up an organic local lunch from the Hearty Café on Mondays at the Chaplaincy.
  • Pick up healthy and affordable ingredients from the student-run Hearty Squirrel Cooperative’s weekly pop-up shop in George Square Lecture Theatre.
  • Discover delicious veggie food at the Vegetarian Society’s weekly potlucks – just bring veggie food, bought or cooked!
  • Join Food Sharing Edinburgh. Their volunteers collect food that would otherwise be thrown away from local businesses and redistribute it.