Tales from The Dark Green Side – hiSbe – how it Should be

This week in ‘Tales from The Dark Green Side’, our series which aims to highlight darker green issues in the news and features on environmental campaigners, we would like to introduce you to hiSbe Food CIC, a social enterprise who’s purpose is to help build a fairer and more sustainable food system through shopper power.

By helping consumers make an informed choice through open, honest dialogue about the food industry, hiSbe is definitely going to be a brand to watch.


hiSbe stands for how it Should be, and we’re here to shine a light on the food industry, talk honestly about food, and help people make more “green” food choices.

Let’s think for a minute about yesterday’s dinner… what did you have? Whatever it was I want you to conjure up those images of peas or pasta or pies or pizza in your mind for a minute. Hold that thought (preferably without your tummy rumbling!)

Believe it or not, what we have for dinner has a big impact on the world around us. Our food choices affect not only ourselves, but the planet and the people and animals we share it with. Sounds far-fetched?

Well, to give an example, the way food is made has a big impact on the environment. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has calculated that, globally, agriculture generates 30% of total man-made emissions of greenhouse gases, including half of all methane emissions and more than half of all emissions of nitrous oxide.

In fact, the food we eat is one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions that there is. Why? Because of all the work and the fuel and the energy that it takes to get it onto our plates.

This is because most of the food we eat is produced on a massive scale, is processed in some way and is imported. The journey food goes through from animal or seed to supermarket is very heavily reliant on fossil fuel at different stages of that supply chain.

Firstly, there’s preparing the land so it can be used for agriculture and running greenhouses that grow products out of season for us, like tomatoes during winter. Then there’s the energy used to make the chemical fertilisers, antibiotics and pesticides that large scale intensive farming uses to maximise output. Then there’s the processing of food, to turn freshly grown or reared food into a zillion different food products; everything from yoghurt, to chicken nuggets to cheese strings. Finally, there’s the transporting of food over long distances to fly it, ship it and drive it to the supermarket depots and then out again from the depots to each individual store.

The good news is we can all choose to eat in a planet-friendly way and make the food system “greener” with our “Shopper Power.” Every pound we spend on food is a vote for more of the same, and by choosing differently we can all help affect change and improve our food system. It’s about making small easy changes and it starts with knowing what’s in the food we eat, how it’s been made and what the true costs of producing it are.

We have created hiSbe’s 8 Everyday Choices to help.

Together, they are a guide to making more informed choices for you, for the planet and the people and animals we share it with. They are:- Go Local, Choose Seasonal, Protect Nature, Support Ethical, Think Welfare, Save Fish, End Waste and Avoid Processed.

You can find out all about the 8 Everyday Choices on the hiSbe website www.hisbe.co.uk, where we have a 90 second video explaining each one and we regularly blog about them. Here’s the video for Support Ethical, to give you a taster.

If you want to see a “greener” food system, it’s your choice. As we say at hiSbe,“you can change what’s wrong with the food system by supporting what’s right.”

Bon appétit!

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