By Andrew Stephen, Chief Executive, Sustainable Restaurant Association
It’s said we eat with our eyes and think with our stomachs. Presenting customers with a fabulous looking, great tasting dish that’s been made with thought, love and a very brief explanation, is often the most effective way of galvanising diners to use the power of their appetites wisely. It’s hard to think of a better way for chefs to showcase how they’re tackling the problems in our food system.
Long, complicated and opaque supply chains in which a third of all food produced is wasted, mixed with seafood from dwindling stocks and climate-changing, meat-heavy menus do nothing to fix food. But chefs have the power to change the way people eat - one dish at a time.
One Planet Plate is a restaurant campaign to put sustainability on the menu – a chance for chefs worldwide to demonstrate to diners in food form how they’re contributing to a better food future. Faced with a full menu of dishes to choose from, it can be hard for even the most conscious diners to feel confident they’re making the right choice, even in the most ethical restaurant. A One Planet Plate is effectively the chef’s sustainable special – his or her recommendation.
We’re encouraging restaurants to put a One Planet Plate on the menu and will direct trade towards participating restaurants via a dynamic map on our website.
We’re giving chefs creative licence, recognising that a damn delicious dish has the greatest chance of capturing hearts and changing minds. We are asking them to consider some of the big issues when devising their recipe for a One Planet Plate – issues that reflect key themes from our sustainability framework. A one planet plate is a dish that does one or more of these things:
- CELEBRATES LOCAL: Use locally sourced, seasonal and non-intensively-farmed produce
- WASTES NO FOOD: Rethink how food surplus or common by-products are used
- FEATURES MORE VEG: Shift the proportion of animal protein towards plant-based ingredients
- SOURCES FISH SUSTAINABLY: Educate diners on where their fish comes from
- INCLUDES BETTER MEAT: Inspire diners to eat high-welfare meat in smaller portions
- HAS A LOW CARBON FOOTPRINT: Cut use of natural resources from farm to fork
While Earth Hour is the launch, our plan is for One Planet Plates to feature on menus for the long-term, engaging all restaurants and diners to support better, more sustainable food practices.
Sustainability is one of the underlining themes of HRC next year and there will be plenty of learnings to take away from the show to help you and your business make more sustainable choices. We will have sessions at the Vision Stage from industry leading speakers and plenty of exhibitors for you to talk to and find out what sustainability means to them.