Food is an essential part of Christmas. Large dinner tables that are full to the brim are normal. Instinctively, we associate a large amount of food with a proper Christmas celebration. Everything is bought in bulk so that there’s enough for guests. Supermarket chains capitalise on this; creating deals and reducing prices so that customers are encouraged to buy in a non ethical way. We are more than likely buying without being conscious of what goes into the food and where it comes from.
The Truth About Turkey
People often get caught up in the traditions of Christmas. 87% of the British public are adamant that Christmas simply isn’t right without a turkey. As a result, the demand for them has increased significantly. The bird has only become a mainstream part of the holidays within the pat 60 years. To meet increased demand, they are mass produced and so easy to obtain. The cost of buying a turkey has gone down too. In the 1930s the cost of one turkey was a week’s wages compared to today, the cost equates to 1.7 hours of work.
Over time, turkeys have been genetically altered to appeal to the mass market. They are bred to have an enlarged breast to yield more meat. As a result, turkeys can’t naturally mate anymore because the breast gets in the way. Farmers now must rely on artificial insemination.
In a time where fake foods are unknowingly consumed, it’s clear that even traditional foods are being processed and altered. Meatless alternatives can be considered a replacement, but many don’t want to venture away from turkey. Consumers can still eat meat, but they perhaps be more mindful about what they are eating, and consider buying organic which has information about where their meat is reared and what goes into it.
Throwing Money Away
One of the biggest ethical concerns that surrounds Christmas is food waste. The average household spends £159 on food and drink alone. For the amount we buy and consume, we are guilty of wasting so much.
In 2014, 4.2 million Christmas dinners were wasted. It is disturbing to think of the money that is being lost but it isn’t surprising. We are easily pulled into the deals set out by supermarket corporations. ‘BOGOFF’ offers encourage over-buying. We aim to save, and we think we’re getting a good deal, but it’s exactly the opposite if there’s so much waste. Buying less and choosing to get produce from farmer markets can be beneficial. You’ll be encouraged to only buy what you need. Furthermore, profits will help the local economy.
Be Merry But Also Ethical
Being more mindful of our choices at Christmas can lead to a more ethical holiday. By doing so doesn’t necessarily take away any enjoyment or tradition, it will simply create an awareness of where our food comes from. The British public have already started making better choices. Christmas 2016, saw a lot more people buying ethical choices like buying free range, choosing a vegetarian or vegan diet, choosing fish and avoiding red meat. It is a small start but in time it could lead to a more sustainable, ethical holiday.