Sustainable Food Shopping for Uni Students: a Friendly Guide

Eating sustainably can feel like a daunting task, especially in uni. As a first year in self-catered, my quick Tesco or Lidl shop is often more focused on affordability than sustainability.  But a sustainable food shop doesn’t have to be as unattainable as it first seems.

So, let’s look at sustainable food shopping together.

Shopping seasonally

The Association of UK Dietitians has a handy list of seasonal fruit and veg that you can check out.

Let’s look at February:

Apples and pears

Beetroot and brussels

Cabbage, carrots, celeriac, chicory

Jerusalem artichokes, kale, leeks

Mushrooms, onions, parsnips, spring onion

Squash, swedes and turnips

I like apples and pears, I like kale and carrots- I think I can do this. The indoor market and Saturday market are a great place to source local fruit and veg. Scoop is also a new and exciting option. It is a student-run zero waste store offering plastic-free non-perishable dried foods.

I found a few recipes incorporating these seasonal veggies for you to check out:

One-pan mushroom and leek orzo

Sausage, squash and kale pasta bake

Carrot and parsnip soup

Plus a few desserts;

Apple crumble

Mary Berry’s apple and pear tart

Buying less meat, and when you do, buying free range

Animal products generate the majority of food-related GHG emissions (72–78% of total agricultural emissions). This is due to low feed-conversion efficiencies, methane production and manure-related emissions. Growing feed for animal also contributes to blue water use, pressures on cropland, and nitrogen and phosphorus application. Meat Free Mondays are an easy way to think about having less meat in our diets. This isn’t to say people shouldn’t eat meat, it is just to consider plant-based options as well as buying quality, free range meat.

Plan meals

Planning meals in advance is a great way to avoid any food waste during the week. I usually rotate the same three meals each week, but they are 3 really great meals, so no complaints from me.

Freeze food

Despite the lack of freezer space, I usually freeze my bread, meat and some pre-made meals (such as bolognese). Some foods that shouldn’t be frozen include milk, potatoes and thawed meat. Freezing food reduces food waste and saves money- win, win!


These options are student-friendly and easy to think about during the weekly shop. And what a great excuse for apple crumble!

Featured image: Elle Hughes via Pexels

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