Food consumption and production have a considerable impact on the environment. To be good, food needs to be responsibly sourced and consumed, as well as healthy.
Food production contributes, for example, to climate change, eutrophication and acid rain, as well as the depletion of biodiversity. It is also a considerable drain on other resources, such as nutrients, land area, energy, and water. In Finland, approximately half of the amount of both phosphorus and nitrogen that ends up in the Baltic Sea due to human activity is attributable to agriculture.
Farming techniques have evolved, and the use of fertilisers has decreased considerably during the last few decades. Despite this, there appears to be no decrease in nutrient loading attributable to agriculture.
The Natural Resources Institute Finland is developing new solutions for improving production techniques, maximising the use of by-products, and minimising waste in order to reduce the nutrient loading attributable to production. The aim of the Natural Resources Institute Finland is to find ways of mitigating the environmental and climatic impacts of food production.
Photo on top of the page: Veikko Somerpuro / Lukes archive