Enabling change in our Society, Environment and Economy (SEE)

Food Choices

Eat low on the food chain, organic, seasonal and local.

The choices we make about the food we eat have a huge impact on our ecological footprint. From the types of food we eat to the way it is produced, packaged and transported. The slogan eat low on the food chain, organic, seasonal and local lists the important aspects of food choices which, if taken into consideration, can reduce your ecological footprint.

Foods which sit low on the food chain have less of an impact on the earth, vegetables compared to meat for example. The amount of meat we consume has a huge impact on the size of our ecological footprint. Meat eaters will have a larger ecological footprint that a vegetarian because live stock has an ecological footprint of its own. If you think about it food animals need, food, water and transport and many require shelter and waste removal also. Therefore, when we have a meal which contains meat we are taking on the ecological footprint of that animal.

Food grown organically doesn’t use pesticides, herbicides and fossil fuel based fertilizers. Therefore they are better for you and better for the planet. The Food Co-op Shop sells some great organic food and if you become a member you get a 20% discount on your purchases.

Do we even know what foods are in season for our region anymore? No? Well, if it is seasonal then local farmers are selling it. We have become spoilt by the fact that some foods are now available all year round, but what effect is this having on our planet. Buy food that is in season, growing foods in hot houses uses a massive amount of energy.

Purchasing food which is transported in from thousands of kilometers away created major greenhouse gas emissions. By buying food locally you can reduce the amount of transport that goes into getting to food to you and you are supporting local farmers. Visit Farmers Markets near you for locally produced products (Northside and Southside).

You do not have to become a vegetarian to reduce their ecological footprint, however by reducing your meat intake you can substantially reduce you ecological footprint. Maybe you and your family could start with one or two meat free days a week. There are a lot of delicious vegetarian options out there to try. Visit the ACT Vegetarian Society website if you would like some more information.

Information on Food Choices from:

With thanks to our


  • ACT Government Environment and Planning
  • The Association of Independent Schools of the ACT (AISACT)
  • Catholic Education Office (Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn)
  • Education and Training Directorate
  • ACT Government