Sustainable Gastronomy Day: The Chef's Good Food Handbook

Pictured: Launch of the Chefs' Toolkit

Today we celebrate UN Sustainable Gastronony Day, this brings attention to local food and cuisine, understanding where ingredients are from, how food is grown, and how food eventually reaches our plates. Gastronomy is a cultural expression related to the natural and cultural diversity of the world.

We also celebrate the launch of the Chefs' Toolkit: 'Ingredients For a Better World: The Chef's Good Food Handbook'. Co-released by The Good Food Fund and Brighter Green, this handbook aims to facilitate shifts in food production, distribution, and consumption patterns towards a healthier and more sustainable food system. It is a collaboration with Yale Hospitality, supporting relevant research, communication and entrepreneurship efforts to reach sustainable food systems. The handbook includes The Chefs' Manifesto, a community of chefs driven to achieve a better food system. 

The vision and mission of the handbook is 'Mindful food for a better world' and there is evidence-based research on sustainable food systems and major current issues throughout. Profiles of chefs from around the world making positive changes in how they source, cook and educate about food are included, as well as practical ideas for chefs to apply the handbook's content in their workplaces.

 

The Chef's Good Food Handbook

Pictured: What Is Good Food?
What is Good Food?

 

The handbook is designed to inspire chefs, culinary students and associations, food service providers, and educators working to create more sustainable, plant-forward food systems. This is a direct outcome of the Food Forward Forum, a unique sustainable food exchange program that took place in 2019.

The forum was conceived as a way for top Chinese chefs and culinary leaders to learn how to make their menus greener and more plant-forward through hands-on collaboration with their peers, as well as academics, public health professionals, and university students.

The vision and mission of the handbook is 'Mindful food for a better world' and there is evidence-based research on sustainable food systems and major current issues throughout. Profiles of chefs from around the world making positive changes in how they source, cook and educate about food are included, as well as practical ideas for chefs to apply the handbook's content in their workplaces.

The chapters span from introducing the concepts of a food system, and plant-forward; to 'The Issue Nexus' outlining six themes the good food fund uses to frame food and sustainability. 

Food Circle
The Food Circle 

A key aim is understanding what a sustainable food system should look like, by exploring what sustainable development means and what the food system is compromised of. The handbook draws upon FAO's definition of the sustainable food system 'a food system that delivers food security and nutrition for all in such a way that the economic, social and environmental bases to generate food security and nutrition for future generations are not compromised'.

Chefs as Agents of Change 

Chefs
The Food Nexus 

Chapter III highlights exemplary chefs from around the world  leading in practices across  six themes: Food ethics; climate change and ecosystems; nutrition; health and wellbeing; socio-economic development; food security and food waste and animal welfare. Read about the chefs, their inspirational quotes and sustainable recipes. Selassie Atadika emphasises the importance of eating lower on the food chain as a method to enable more people to access food, she runs Midunu, a nomadic dining concept showcasing New African cuisine in Accra, Ghana.

 

Chef Educator Yi-Wen in Shanghai, China
Chef Educator Yi-Wen in Shanghai, China

 

 

 

Chef Yi-Wen's 'Therapeutic Food' vision compliments the handbook, she educates on boosting immuntiy through in-depth botanical cooking and seasonal eating. She was inspired by the recent EAT article on the effects of COVID-19 on chefs and the dramatic change in food systems.

Sustainable Development Goals and Zero Hunger

Chefs' Manifesto
The Chefs' Manifesto (p.54)

Featuring within the toolkit, The Chefs' Manifesto is a community of 700+ chefs from 77 countries, equipped with a simple set of actions to drive progress against the food issues that matter most to them. Chefs can inspire people to make changes in their kitchens and communities, as powerful advocates for a better food future. 

The Chefs' Manifesto has an action plan consisting of 8 thematic areas aligned with the SDGs:

  1. Ingredients grown with respect for the earth & its oceans
  2. Protection of biodiversity & improved animal welfare
  3. Investment in livelihoods
  4. Value natural resources & reduce waste
  5. Celebration of local & seasonal food 
  6. A focus on plant-based ingredients 
  7. Education on food safety & healthy diets
  8. Nutritious food that is accessible & affordable for all 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Resources:

  • Read more about Sustainable Gastronomy Day here.
  • Read the Chef's Good Food Handbook here
  • Read an interview with Chef Yi-Wen and The Good Food Fund here
  • Listen to the Chefs' Manifesto Podcast here
  • Download the Chefs' Manifesto action plan here.