#EthicalHour Roundup – The Challenge of Ethical FoodKate Stuart
Kate Stuart is an artist, craftswoman and writer based in the North East of England. Owner of The Phoenix Green Store, she is currently in the process of transforming it into Newcastle Upon Tyne’s first zero waste shop. She handles the magazine’s Twitter account every Monday evening from 8pm GMT for #EthicalHour.
Last year I took my eldest daughter to see the Michael Morpurgo play Running Wild, and whilst we were both blown away by the story, the puppetry, the set design, and the powerful performances, it was the palm oil message that really hit home. We’ve both been reading food labels in supermarket isles ever since.
Tonight the conversation on Twitter was about ethical food, and how difficult it can feel to really know where our food is coming from, who made it/grew it, how well they were treated/paid when they were making it/growing it, how it’s packaged, and how sustainable it is. Lots of questions which it’s often nigh on impossible to find the answers to, and a fairly unified desire for more transparency in the food industry. Palm oil is a great example of an often hidden (by use of different terms to describe it) and massively unsustainable ingredient. Sometimes it feels like palm oil is in EVERYTHING, which would be fine if it wasn’t such a symbol of utter destruction and devastation – the land and habitats that are literally wiped out to make space for this cheap, much desired by the West commodity. If you’re new to this issue, like we were this time last year, Selva Beat have written a very handy guide. You can find it here. The conversation brought up an app that scans bar codes to check if a product contains palm oil and if it does, whether it’s sustainable. You can find a link to this app here – though right now it’s only accessible in Australia and New Zealand. We’re in the UK so will have to keep reading packaging for now but it’s great to know that these things are being developed.
Thanks #EthicalHour for another great conversation – I’ll look forward to next week! Over and out, Kate.