Buy local produce: Doing your part on climate change doesn't mean a drastic change in lifestyle

Support local, save the Earth.

| Zhangxin Zheng | Sponsored | May 05, 2021, 07:59 PM

Fighting climate change may seem like a mammoth task for an individual.

While it is true that this crisis of our generation does not have a quick solution, making small tweaks to our own consumption habits can go a long way.

You’ve probably heard enough of saying no to straws and bringing reusable bags when shopping, or even eating less meat. But nope, I’m not talking about these which ask for fundamental shifts in our habits.

There’s actually a simpler change you can make to reduce our carbon footprint: Support local produce.

“Trace Mak Together” short film

As Hari Raya Puasa is around the corner, the Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment (MSE) has created a short comedy film which you can watch with your friends and family over this festive season.

For the uninitiated, the light-hearted and informative film shows a variety of local produce as well as where and how you can find them.

The 4-minute film is a good conversation starter for those who wish to get other family members or friends to go green.

GIF from short film “Trace Mak Together” by the Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment (MSE).

Here’s how support for our local farmers can also be an environmentally-friendly act.

Fresher produce and a lower carbon footprint

We can all work towards a more sustainable lifestyle and, understandably, the meatless lifestyle might not be for everyone. Hence, one way to effectively cut down on our personal carbon footprint is to buy produce grown in Singapore.

Local produce does not require freight services via planes or ships.

And guess what? The shorter transport time from farm to fork means the food is much fresher and can retain more of its nutritional content!

Compare overseas and local produce. Produce transported from overseas might not last as long and can be damaged on their way to Singapore.

Local produce will not face such problems — this means we can avoid food waste, due to spoilage, produced just from transport.

Not to forget, many of our local vegetables are grown in high-tech vertical farms that maximise output in limited spaces.

This is unlike traditional farms which have a significant carbon footprint due to land use change.

Some farms are even located at the most unexpected places, such as on the rooftops of HDB multi-storey car parks:

As these vegetables are grown locally, the quality and food safety are certainly assured by the Singapore Food Agency (SFA).

In recent years, local produce has become a really competitive alternative as they are now widely available online or at supermarkets.

GIF via “Trace Mak Together” video by MSE

Yup, you don’t have to travel all the way to an ulu Lim Chu Kang farm. You can shop for local produce even in the comfort of your living room. Hence, there is no excuse for not giving local farmers your support.

More local produce options at supermarkets

If you are someone like me who frequents supermarkets, you might notice quite a number of food items with this sticker on their packaging:

You can find them on local produce, including kale, which you would expect to arrive here from temperate-climate areas.

Besides vegetables, you can also find fish and eggs produced locally.

Here’s a quick look at the variety of local produce available at supermarkets that you might have missed during your last visit:

Close to 20 types of local produce can be easily found at supermarkets. Image via SFA.

While Singapore imports a majority of our food, SFA is looking into boosting our local food production to cushion us from the impacts of climate change.

Covid-19, which has disrupted global supply chains, has also reminded us of the importance and urgency of enhancing our food resilience and security.

Therefore, SFA has been supporting our local farmers with funding and space, as well as leveraging on research and development, to grow our local agri-food industry. This is to ensure we have sufficient food to buffer any food supply disruptions.

While farmers in Singapore will help provide us with a buffer during bad times, they need our support during ordinary days to sustain or grow their businesses.

Furthermore, this will lead to a win-win situation as only with more support from Singaporeans that prices are more likely to become more affordable due to economies of scale.

If you are thinking of cooking up a feast or being tasked with grocery shopping over this festive season, do remember to keep a look out for the “SG Fresh Produce” logo.

You can watch the light-hearted and informative 4-minute film here:


Top image via MSE’s short film. The writer of this sponsored article by MSE loves grocery shopping.