Reducing Food's Environmental Impact
Sodexo is working with Unilever brand Knorr and conservation organisation WWF-UK who co-authored a recent "Future 50 Foods" report into sustainable food options to introduce plant-based recipes at 5,000 kitchens in the United States, United Kingdom, France and Belgium.
The report which was published in February included recommendations from scientists, nutritionists and agricultural experts who were tasked with identifying 50 ingredients that can contribute to a more sustainable food system whilst improving levels of nutrition. Their final list includes familiar foods such as lentils, wild rice and kale, in addition to less-familiar choices including the grain fonio, pumpkin flowers, and cacti.
Working with Knorr Professional chefs and nutritionists, Sodexo has developed forty recipes using ingredients from the report for an initial roll-out across all four countries that will include businesses, government offices, universities and hospitals. The French multinational food services and facilities management provider anticipates extending the programme across its global operations.
The partnership builds on Sodexo’s commitment to providing consumers with more responsible food choices and contributing to positive impact on the global food system. Last year, Sodexo launched 200 plant-based meals in the US and in 2017 developed Green & Lean sustainable recipes in the UK & Ireland featuring balanced, responsibly sourced and healthier ingredients. Future 50 Foods supports the company’s nutrition, health and wellness commitments, menu strategy and sustainable sourcing guidelines.
Announcing the initiative, John Wright, Senior Vice-President of Sodexo's Food Platform, said:
"When you see there are more than 20,000 known edible plants on our planet, and yet our food comes primarily from a dozen of them, there is definitely opportunity to change and discover new ways of eating. Today, we are helping consumers as they look for ways to adopt more sustainable diets. Future 50 Foods represents an exciting opportunity for our chefs to innovate in the kitchen and share Sodexo’s Love of Food with diners in a way that’s also good for the planet."
Dominika Cabalska-Kaminska, Global Foods Director at Unilever Food Solutions, who manages the Knorr Professional brand, said:
"The Future 50 Foods grow and are available in a wide number of countries and can be the side or center of everyday meals, and can be added and substituted into meals or used to create new types of dishes. The aim is to increase the intake of these foods to help improve the health of people and the planet. This partnership between Knorr Professional and our strategic partner Sodexo helps us to faster deploy and scale the Future 50 Foods initiative, and to create a deep understanding of it for professional chefs’ network."
Sarah Halevy, Sustainable Diet Manager at WWF-UK, added:
"People are waking up to the fact that the food we eat is having a devastating impact on our environment. Not only is our food system a major contributor to climate change, it is the main reason that the planet’s incredible wildlife is being destroyed. It’s vital that we change the way we produce and consume food, moving away from an over-reliance on animal protein – carbon heavy foods which require vast amounts of space, water and feed to produce – towards more plant-based diets. Joining forces with chefs and the food industry is an important step, which allows consumers to choose sustainable dishes, helping to drive the change that we desperately need to happen."