Climate Smart Eating

Each food has a different ecological footprint. This means that through our food choices and diets, we can contribute to worsen or mitigate the effects of climate change. Equally, due to global warming and the progressive depletion of natural resources, more and more consumers will be asked to vote with the fork, as a way to support local food culture but also consumption patterns within the planetary boundaries.

[Humana Communitas]: Kitchens are the places where households get the nutrition necessary for their survival, but they are also the places where consumers have the opportunity to vote with their fork. Individuals need to become more aware of the power they can reclaim and exercise through their personal consumption decisions. This implies putting a higher value on food, choosing quality over quantity, and being willing to pay the fair price.

[Climate & Earth Regeneration]: Overall, animal-based foods tend to have a higher footprint than plant-based. For most foods (especially those produced on a large scale), most GHG emissions result from land-use change and processes at the farm stage. Eating less meat, or switching to lower impact meats is an effective way for individuals to reduce their dietary footprint. According to FAO, this can also be done through taxes and subsidies.

[Mediterranean Foodscape]: The adoption of so-called “win-win” diets that are better for both people and the planet can contribute to mitigating climate change. The Mediterranean Foodscape is an example of a sustainable cultural model, in which respect for the environment is highly valued. The Mediterranean diet is rich in nuts and beans, fruit and vegetables, olive oil, fish, white meat in small quantities, dairy, and eggs. In a food system in which agriculture uses nearly 40 percent of the world’s land area and 70 percent of water use, the Mediterranean diet is claimed to reduce land use by an average of 27 percent and water use by 10 percent. Global adoption of a Mediterranean diet could help reduce global warming by up to 15 percent by 2050.

Participants will interpret the power and consequences of food decisions and choices that are made in the kitchen, including best practices for promoting climate beneficial (win-win) diets that have a positive impact on the regeneration of the planet and people, and interpret how to critique different diets and their outcomes.