Sustainability and nutrition Part 5 – Sustainable research

Part 5 – Sustainable research
We are Greendish! In the ‘sustainability and nutrition’ series we share our secrets and fun facts every month for a whole year at Amsterdam & Co. This month we talk about our research dealing with sustainable meals in out-of-home settings and why it is so important to choose your plates.

On 5 November, Greendish participated in the Members & Co event 2018. This is an exclusive evening for members of Rabobank in which a jury of three members of the Council and the public could vote for different initiatives. Greendish has been selected with the Public-Private Partnership initiative: Food, Value & Impact, a research project that we carry out together with Wageningen Economic Research and the Louis Bolk Institute. The aim of this initiative is to help as many caterers and restaurants as possible to serve tasty, healthy and sustainable meals. This initiative is unique in that, together with the industry and science, we are looking for ways to achieve healthier and more sustainable dietary patterns. In order to do that the correct way, we do practical research into the behavior of consumers and the impact that small changes on their plates have on sustainability. By collaborating, ideas can be implemented in practice in a way that everyone can eat healthy and sustainable dishes in thousands of locations. Watch the video below in Dutch to find out more!

Making an impact
In addition to working together with companies on their menu engineering, consumer behavior and motivating employees, we also make an environmental impact calculation. More precisely, we calculate the emission of greenhouse gases (CO2eq) and water consumption per dish. What exactly does this mean? Greenhouse gases such as CO2 occur naturally in the air and partly retain the heat of the sun. Without these greenhouse gases, the average temperature on earth would be -18 degrees, an unlivable environment. Today there are 40% more greenhouse gases in the air than a few centuries ago and this causes the earth to warm up. This warming causes, among other things, an increase in sea level, changes in ecosystems, more hurricanes, flooding, as well as drought of the continental parts. At this moment, 25% of all the CO2eq emissions are related to food. In the future, this is only expected increase. Mostly because it is expected that by 2050, 9 trillion mouths will feed on the earth. This is an increase of 20% compared to the total world population at the moment!

Food makes a long journey before it is on your plate and all these steps take part in the emission of greenhouse gases. Fortunately, we can all contribute to reducing these emissions! One way to contribute is by purchasing as many locally produced and seasonal products as possible. Also, by consciously choosing which products you eat, you can drastically change the level of CO2eq emission caused by your food consumption. In the table below of MilieuCentraal you can see the obvious differences in emissions of CO2eq per kilo of different produce. As an example, lamb and beef have a much greater impact on the environment than chicken. This is because chickens themselves emit fewer greenhouse gases and require less feed per kilo of meat than sheep and cows. Therefore, caterers and restaurants can make a big impact by using more plant-based proteins, chicken or eggs, and less lamb and beef!

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