How 'climavores' are on a mission to make their diet more environmentally friendly

·2-min read
A climavore diet could involve eating more seaweed, for example.

After carnivores, omnivores and locavores, meet the climavores! Have you given up red meat, not for health reasons, but to reduce the impact of your diet on the planet? Do you calculate the carbon emissions of your recipes and look for ingredients that have the least impact on the environment? Then it seems that you're part of this new category of consumers.

In a recent study conducted by the American consulting firm Kearney, 15% of the 1,000 people living in the United States surveyed said they were aware of the impact of their food choices. This is still a small proportion, but it is likely to grow in the coming years, according to the analysis of this international consultancy, which specializes in strategy in a wide range of fields, including distribution and trade. The study highlights a new consumer profile, whose numbers are expected to grow as people become more aware of their food's impact on the planet. Meet the climavores.

In the United Kingdom, two artists are sounding the alarm about the harmful consequences of global warming on the seasons, which are now completely disrupted by bad weather episodes and heat waves at inappropriate times of the year. Above all, it has become common to see tomatoes on the shelves in winter. The London-based duo, Daniel Fernández Pascual and Alon Schwabe, have called their project "climavore." This involves staging exhibitions to draw attention to the threats posed to resources essential to our food supply.

What does a climavore diet look like?

Climavores might look for plant-based alternatives to beef, for example, or buy seaweed instead of farmed fish, as well as organic and preferably local food... Essentially, these are all ways of creating a more climate-friendly diet.

Activists Daniel Fernández Pascual and Alon Schwabe explain that a vegan diet is not the only way to reduce one's carbon footprint at the dinner table. Indeed, they are more focused on production systems as a means to judge whether a particular food is "acceptable." In fact, the pair -- who have named their duo Cooking Sections -- instead suggest adapting our diet according to climatic hazards and effects that reshape landscapes, and therefore food resources.

For example, this could involve not eating winter vegetables in the middle of August. And, above all, avoiding all crops that are the result of intensive agriculture. It's about preferring foods that contribute to the regeneration of our resources, like algae, which brings oxygen to the oceans, or oysters and mussels, because of their water filtration superpowers. It's also important for climavores to be curious and to taste old varieties of fruits and vegetables from the local area, which can be grown close to home.

Bérangère Chatelain

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