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Positive Impact

Make being part of a new year's revolution your new year's resolution!

New year's resolutions to eat more healthily, drink less and exercise more after the excesses of Christmas are often easily made and easily broken. Here, our culinary ambassador, David Mulcahy, suggests focusing instead on making positive steps to helping the environment by considering the impact of the food you eat.

At Sodexo, we have made some ambitious sustainability goals and are committed to cutting carbon emissions by 34% by 2025. Two of the ways we are doing this is by preventing food waste and promoting plant-based meals. Picture of David Mulcahy

But everyone can help play their part in reducing carbon emissions by making some small changes to their lifestyles. 

How can I help?

Roughly one third of food produced around the world is wasted, which contributes 8-10% of total man-made greenhouse gas emissions*. 

If food waste is unacceptable in the home, it will also be unacceptable from the stores where we buy our food or the countries that supply it. 

Many of us are now having to eat every meal from home. But working from home, kids to consider, different meal or break times depending on online learning, work calls and commitments, all make for a challenging cooking environment!

All the more reason for a serious planning session. This is a team effort, so get the whole family involved. This doesn’t need to be stressful - quite the opposite! 

Keep a diary 

It may feel a little over-processed to create a weekly meals diary or to set up a weekend planning meeting at home, but less shopping, more batch cooking and sharing the load will ultimately lead to a more manageable outcome.

Be careful not to over-plan, though. Leave a few gaps in the week’s meal diary - there is always more food than we planned and a little can go a long way. 

No more waste 

Make a zero-waste promise - your new year’s family resolution. All part of the big revolution! 

  • Buy and cook only what you need and try to use up all the food in your fridge (especially carbon-intensive food like meat and dairy products) before it goes off. 
  • Eating seasonal locally grown produce is another step you can take. We are seeing a sustained return to supporting local shops and farmers markets. More than a trend, a positive life choice.
  • Consider batch cooking or making more than enough for the evening meal to use again as lunch the following day. 
  • Keep those bits of veg not used in a dish or hidden in the freezer for a fresh soup or roasted veg to add to some pasta for a quick lunchtime meal. Once you start, it gets easier and easier! 

Embrace change – try vegan!  

If you want to reduce your personal food carbon footprint, diet could be a good place to start. Switching to more plant-based foods, or even just reducing the amount of meat and dairy you consume, can bring your carbon footprint down by a long way. 

There is a whole range of meat alternatives, such as The Vegetarian Butcher and The Meatless Farm, in the supermarkets, so you might not realise you’re not eating chicken or beef. 

Did you know? 

  • The Beyond Meat and Impossible Burgers typically show 20 times less carbon impact than a traditional beef burger. 
  • The carbon footprint of the most climate-friendly protein sources (like pulses) is up to 100 times lower than those of the most climate-unfriendly beef and lamb production

And if you are embracing Veganuary, check out these simple, cook-at-home vegan recipes from some of our chefs for inspiration!

Broaden your horizons

For the more curious, take up a new challenge of buying a more diverse selection of grains, pulses and local vegetables to spice up the dark, dreary and cold winter months. 

We will continue to develop our Future 50 and award-winning Finer Diner plant forward recipe development for Sodexo sites throughout 2021. 

Wishing you a healthy, waste-free and successful 2021! 

 

*Source: WRAP 

January 14, 2021

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