If I am completely honest… eat with the earth in mind was inspired by a very special lady in my life! As the saying goes, ‘behind every great man is a greater woman!’
I have been a chef since I was 15 years old. Growing up in a kitchen, meat was always the hero of dishes, and I ate meat every day. Over the years it is astonishing to see how this has changed to plant-based heroes and how versatile and delicious they are!
I still eat meat, but not every day. I even use plant-based milk at home!
Lower carbon eating
Research revealed that customers would swap at least one meat meal a week for a plant-based one, if they knew it would make a positive impact on the environment. BM’s Eat with the Earth in Mind is an ethos to unite us to reduce our carbon footprint.
‘Carbon footprint’ is something we’ve all heard of, but few of us know exactly what it means. Or how it relates to the food we eat. Most of the time, a carbon footprint refers to the amount of greenhouse gases (GHG) that something creates. These are mainly carbon dioxide (CO2), methane and nitrous oxide. These gases trap heat in our atmosphere and cause global warming.
Global warming is having a catastrophic effect on communities and food production. Wendy, Lin and Miguel saw this first-hand when they went to Jinotega in Nicaragua where Perkee coffee beans grow. As temperatures rise and droughts intensify it becomes impossible for the Soppexcca cooperative to grow Perkee coffee bushes at the same altitude.
How to Eat with the Earth in Mind
Eat with the Earth in Mind dishes contain;
- More plant-based proteins
- Less animal proteins
- Reduced waste
- A celebration of local and seasonal produce
- Sustainably sourced fish
To develop Eat with the Earth in Mind we have adjusted the way we;
- Approach menu development
- Write menus
- Buy food
- Choose suppliers
- Store food
Eat with the Earth in Mind includes creative ways to reuse food, from food trim and use up left-over tasty food that would normally end up in the bin!
Low on carbon, high on flavour
In the EU, food is the second largest contributor to our individual carbon footprint. Researchers from Oxford University say swapping one red meat meal for a plant-based dinner every week could cut the UK’s carbon footprint by 50 million tonnes! That’s equal to taking half the cars in Britain off the road!
Our talented chefs have developed recipes containing less animal protein without changing the look, feel and integrity of the original dish. We have replaced 50% of the animal protein with either a plant-based protein or vegetables. For example, our Lake District farmer’s lamb kofta, looks like a kofta, tastes like a kofta and is super-delicious, just like a kofta! But it contains only 50% lamb. The other 50% is chickpeas!
We are showcasing the plant-based dishes first on our menus, the meat and fish dishes are still proudly on there, but just second!
Using ‘wonky’ produce can also cut the food carbon footprint. A 2018 study by the University of Edinburgh found over 50 million tonnes of misshapen fruit and vegetables are thrown away in the UK and Europe every year. The climate change impact of this is the same as the emissions of almost 400,000 cars
Small changes make a big impact!
I am immensely proud of Eat with the Earth in Mind and the opportunity it provides us. At BM we already take carbon reduction seriously and measure the company’s annual carbon emissions with the Planet Mark certification. But this is the first time we have drilled down into individual dishes to see how we can reduce carbon.
Together we can all make a positive impact without having to make big changes. And we don’t have to stop eating meat either! We need to make small changes to the way we think about the food we eat. This sums it up for me, ‘Learn to eat mindfully, psychology is key to lasting change’.
I wanted to say a big thank you to Lin Dickens who embraced my ethos and turned it into something incredible, beyond my imagination!