The PAN deputy participated today in the international congress CouraVeg – Paredes de Coura Vegetariana, with a lecture entitled “Eating is a political act”, where he spoke of several of the party's proposals for a change in food production and consumption in Portugal, with a view also fighting climate change.
“We strongly believe in impact and the power of information. Explaining the impacts of carbon and water footprints on food production and consumption we think we have had a huge impact on people, ”said André Silva.
The Lisbon NAP headlist also said that it is essential to inform consumers of the water and carbon footprints of food, noting that the party has a draft resolution approved to that effect, "but the government has never implemented it."
At the conference, André Silva pointed out that a simple hamburger represents, from the water footprint point of view, two months of showers and that, in Portugal, agriculture and livestock represent 80% of the water consumed.
"Campaigns are being made for the efficient use of water, such as turning off the tap to clean the teeth, reducing the water in the toilet, but no one ever talks about the elephant in the room," he criticized.
In addition, there are also other impacts associated with agricultural production, whether it is deforestation for livestock rearing or for producing animal feed cereals, or the miles food can make to the table.
To give an example of the impact, André Silva suggested “a typical Sunday meal” available in any western supermarket: “potatoes from Italy, carrots from South Africa, beans from Thailand, beef from Australia, broccoli from Guatemala and, to dessert, california strawberries [Estados Unidos] and blueberries from New Zealand. ”
This meal represents 650 times more emissions than buying local produce and 81,000 kilometers traveled – "two whole rounds of the planet," he noted. In this sense, it considers that it is essential to reduce the consumption of animal protein, not to conclude trade agreements that do not guarantee the European standards of environmental protection, “namely the agreement of the European Union with Mercosur”, and the end of the State support and the support. to meat production
The PAN spokesman also argued that it is necessary to redirect support to agricultural production from “more impactful to less impactful practices”, such as organic farming. "Organic farming in Portugal should develop much further to balance the trade balance and respond to an increasingly avid European market for these products," he said.
The candidate stressed at the conference that "eating is a political act." “It is no longer just a choice that has to do with my elementary tastes and preferences, but has huge implications for others, other people and cultures, ecosystems,” he said.