13 September 2019 | Prithvi Pandya
Food services company Sodexo has announced that it is working with Knorr Professional and conservation organisation WWF-UK to bring more sustainable food choices to more consumers across the world.
Sodexo will feature recipes inspired by Knorr and WWF-UK's Future 50 Foods report, 50 nutritious foods that are healthy, flavourful, accessible and can be better for the planet than comparison foods.
The Future 50 Foods report launched by Knorr and WWF-UK in February 2019, brought together scientists, nutritionists and agricultural experts to identify 50 ingredients to contribute to a more sustainable food system. The list combines familiar foods, such as lentils, wild rice and kale, with lesser-known foods like fonio, pumpkin flowers and cactus, selected for their lower environmental impact and high nutritional value.
John Wright, global senior vice-president at 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.
"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."
Sodexo and Knorr's chefs and nutritionists have developed 40 recipes using ingredients from the Future 50 Foods report and are introducing them in kitchens globally. This initial roll-out includes more than 5,000 locations in Belgium, the US, the UK and France, including business and government offices, universities and hospitals.
Last year Sodexo launched 200 plant-based meals in the US and in 2017 developed green and lean sustainable recipes in the UK and 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.
Dominika Cabalska-Kaminska, global foods director at Unilever Food Solutions, managing Knorr Professional, said: "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, said: "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."