Earth Day 2024: Caring for Consumers and the Environment

Discover how food safety practices can have a positive impact on the environment as well as our health.
Earth Day - Child holding apple and globe
April 17, 2024

On April 22, the world will be celebrating Earth Day again, and it’s the perfect time to explore the inherent connection between the safety of our food and the health of our planet.

Food safety, environmental sustainability and public health go hand-in-hand, and a conscientious approach to food production, service and consumption not only contributes to our well-being but also supports the preservation of our planet.

Sustainable Food Production

Sustainable farming and production methods are pivotal in ensuring our food is safe and our environments are protected. Practices like organic farming reduce the use of harmful pesticides and fertilizers, lessening the risk of soil and water pollution. 

Local sourcing minimizes transportation, cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions and promoting fresher, less processed food. By choosing these methods, we not only enjoy safer, healthier food but also do our bit to protect the environment.

How Environmental Policies Can Enhance Food Safety

Environmental regulations can have a direct impact on food safety too. For instance, stringent laws regarding water quality ensure that irrigation systems don’t contaminate crops used in food production.

By protecting natural resources, environmental policies help maintain the integrity of our food and the ecosystems that support its production. Earth Day represents an opportunity for us to stop and reflect on the importance of maintaining high environmental standards at each stage of the food supply chain.

Reducing Food Waste for Earth's Sake

Effective food handling and storage procedures are critical for preventing food-related illnesses, but they’re equally important when it comes to minimizing waste. Wasted food squanders resources like water, energy, and labour while significantly contributing to methane emissions from landfills. 

Learning how to store and preserve food correctly is not just a matter of health—it's a step towards more sustainable living.

The Role of Food Handlers in Sustainability

Food handling staff can play a pivotal role in bridging the gap between food safety and environmental sustainability. They have the unique capability to implement eco-friendly practices within the food industry, from using biodegradable cleaning products to deploying efficient waste disposal systems. 

Keeping the environment in mind during the performance of everyday tasks will allow Food Handlers to create a culture of sustainability throughout their respective workplaces.

Food-borne Illnesses Caused by Environmental Damage

Environmental damage, such as deforestation, water pollution and habitat destruction can increase the spread of pathogens that cause food-borne illnesses

As a society, we must do whatever we can to protect the natural habitats around us and maintain the health of the ecosystems that directly impact our food and our health. A healthier environment means safer food.

The Impact of Plant-Based Diets

The shift towards plant-based diets is gaining momentum, not just for health benefits but for environmental reasons too. Plant-based foods can lower the risk of food-borne illnesses and reduce the ecological footprint associated with animal farming, such as deforestation, water usage and greenhouse gas emissions.

Take Action This Earth Day

Earth Day is a time to be inspired. Take the opportunity to undergo professional food safety training and implement responsible practices that protect consumers and the environment.

Enroll with the Canadian Institute of Food Safety today and foster a culture of food safety and sustainability in your workplace.