A Food Revolution for People and Planet
We are a group of students and staff from the University of Edinburgh and University of Dundee, aiming to reduce the carbon footprints of our University communities through the development of a healthy, affordable and sustainable meal plan. We are not pretending to have the answer to the climate crisis but we want to encourage students (with leverage in communities) to move our food choices in the right direction for human and planetary health.
Food systems now account for 34% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and obesity and chronic diseases such as diabetes continue to increase unabated around the world. The COVID-19 pandemic presents a turning point for the way the people of Scotland procure and consume food.
Food is at the heart of all of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The EAT-Lancet Commission for food, planet, and health called for a global transformation of eating habits, improved food production, and a reduction of food waste. A diet based primarily on wholegrain cereals, legumes, fruits, vegetables, and nuts, and low in meat and foods high in saturated fat, sugar, and salt, is better for both human and planetary health. We will harness this opportunity to demonstrate that knowledge can be turned into reality, starting with school and university students, who are champions of sustainability and leaders of tomorrow. Moreover, universities are hubs of transition; habits made during this sensitive life stage can have long-lasting effects.
We will show that it can be easy and affordable to make food choices that are better for health and the planet, by designing recipes and a publicity campaign, culminating in a month-long event in which school and university students can take part in a ‘Planetary health Meal Plan’.
We have been given this unique opportunity through the support of the Scottish Universities Insight Institute, in partnership with Zero Waste Scotland. We hope you will join us as we take collective action to tackle climate change and make real progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals.
We are always looking for champions across Universities, schools, and third sector organisations, so please get in touch if you want to get involved in developing this initiative and if you have ideas for improvement. We love a challenge.