The global food system today has an enormous impact on the environment. One-third of food produced around the world is lost or wasted. On average, 70% of freshwater withdrawal is used for agriculture. Up to 37% of greenhouse gas emissions originate on the journey from farm to fork. Driven by striking statistics like these, the Life Climate Smart Chefs project was launched to change our approach to food, climate and health, creating a resilient food system that is healthier for people and the planet. At Nutritics, we were eager to get involved.
What is the LIFE Climate Smart Chefs project?
The LIFE Climate Smart Chefs project aims to contribute to the development and implementation of the EU Climate Policy and the Farm to Fork (F2F) Strategy, and to aid the shift towards a low carbon economy by nurturing a climate-smart cooking and eating culture across the EU food system.
The main project objectives are:
- to increase awareness of the relationship between food and climate change at the EU level, and
- to engage chefs as active changemakers and promoters of low emission, nutritious and affordable diets in the EU.
These objectives will be accomplished through actively involving European chefs as promoters of low-emission, nutritious and affordable diets that reduce environmental impacts, improve public health and tackle food waste. The goal is to provide chefs with the knowledge and tools needed to generate change in recipe design, menu planning and communication with customers, fostering awareness around climate and environmental issues. The project also hopes to kickstart a mainstream discussion about food as a key factor in climate change mitigation.
The Network of Life Climate Smart Chefs is made up of chef associations, restaurants, hotels and caterers who are passionate about reducing carbon emissions, water consumption and food waste — creating gastronomic experiences that focus on ecological, economic and social sustainability as well as taste. For everyone engaged in the hospitality industry, the Life Climate Smart Chefs project offers an opportunity to effect real, sustainable change for the benefit of our planet.
The Climate Smart Menu tool
The project is broken down into a number of specific actions, each of which has a clearly defined goal. We’re thrilled to announce that Nutritics will undertake the development of the Climate Smart Menu tool, an online tool that chefs can use to calculate the combined health and sustainability impacts of their menus.
The Climate Smart Menu Tool will support chefs in measuring the environmental impact of their kitchens by offering information on carbon and water footprints, nutritional values and the effects of food waste. By integrating nutritional and environmental data into one tool, chefs gain visibility over every contributing element and can engineer their menus accordingly. This gives them the power to create dishes that deliver a greater benefit to the climate and environment, while remaining nutritionally balanced.
For more information on the Life Climate Smart Chefs project, the Network of Life Climate Smart Chefs and Nutritics’ contribution to this fantastic initiative, click here.