When Elon Musk donates one million trees to the world and Gucci and Zara join G7 leaders to announce a global climate change pact, it’s clear sustainability is big news. And it’s not only global figureheads making a sustainability step change. Today, sustainability is becoming a driving force in consumer decision-making too, with over two thirds of people saying it’s a key consideration when making a purchase .
So how can we, in the food and hospitality industry, play our part in this global sustainability movement and, in doing so, attract a new generation of sustainably motivated guests and diners?
One simple way is to check out the new Future 50 Foods Report created by Unilever’s Knorr in partnership with WWF. The Future 50 Foods Report identifies 50 plant-based, future-facing foods that we should eat more of for our health and the health of the planet. Spearheading this movement in the region is Unilever Food Solutions, which has been supporting chefs with quality ingredients and dish inspiration for decades. The Future 50 Foods furthers that commitment, enabling chefs to cook more diversely and with more flavour for all their diners.
The thinking behind the list is simple: small changes can make a big difference. Currently, a staggering 75% of global food supply comes from just 12 plant and five animal species . This restricted diet leaves our already fragile eco-systems subject to detrimental intensive farming methods. The result? Global food systems are the biggest driver of nature loss in our world today . WWF’s Living Planet Report, published in October 2018, found that wildlife populations have declined by 60 percent globally in less than 50 years. By 2050 the world population is predicted to increase to ten billion people, adding further pressure to the environment and the global food system.
The ingredients on The Future 50 Foods Report have therefore been carefully curated by experts in sustainability, agriculture and nutrition. So, as well as having a limited environmental footprint, each one is high in nutrients and renowned for its taste and diverse culinary uses.
For instance, drought-resistant fonio, which is highly nutritious and gluten free, can be used in place of oats, cous cous or rice and is also delicious mixed with oil and spices for an unusual side dish. Black turtle beans are a fantastic source of protein and fibre that add a meaty texture to curries while wakame seaweed, one of the few plant-based sources of omega three fatty acids, adds a distinctive salty flavour to salads, stir fries and soups.
By incorporating the Future 50 Foods into your menus, you can introduce your guests to an exciting array of new and varied plant-based taste experiences that answer their desire for sustainable lifestyle options and lower collective impact on the planet.
Asked why the industry’s backing for the Future 50 Foods initiative is so important, April Redmond, Global Brand Vice President of Knorr in Unilever, explains: ‘The globally influential hotel and hospitality industries have a vital role to play in opening hearts and minds to new flavours and the importance of eating more adventurously and sustainably.
‘On our planet, we’ve been blessed with over 20,000 edible plant varieties . By using and exploring many more of these, we can create culinary experiences that not only enrich lives but also protect the planet that has given us such a wealth of delicious options to explore.’
So, why not make 2020 a year to embrace sustainability and even greater ingredient diversity in your cooking? You can lead the way in showing the world how to help protect our planet one delicious dish at a time…
The Future 50 Foods report is designed to inspire and facilitate these shifts by celebrating the wide variety of foods available. For more information and to download the full report, visit www.UFS.com/F50F