Gastronomica Rethinking Food & Drink

Companies are coming together, to collaborate, share knowledge and support a concept designed to support change.

From the early days of 2021, a core team has come together to work upon a concept for a food sustainability festival which will bring experts together to inform and enable a better understanding and greater awareness to drive informed choices and a consumer movement. Many understand the need for change and want to come together to ensure we do work better as a whole

We currently have a food system that can feed the world but makes us ill. One that destroys wildlife, pollutes rivers and air and produces almost 1/3rd of greenhouse gases.” (Henry Dimbleby, National Food Strategy)

There is work to be done:

· Our food system is the cause of 25-30% of all greenhouse gases. Air travel is only 3.5%

· Agriculture is responsible for 46% of the food system GHG’s

· Agriculture is responsible for 50% of global methane emissions – rice and ruminants

· Global temperatures will continue to rise for decades to come, largely due to these greenhouse gases produced by human activities – and specifically our food system

· 56% of the UK’s peat land has been drained and converted to agricultural use

· Three quarters of the land-based environment and about 66% of the marine environment have been significantly altered by human actions

· More than a third of the worlds land surface and nearly 75% of freshwater resources are now devoted to crop or livestock production

· 85% off the farmland that is used to feed the UK is used to rear animals

· 850 million live in hunger (2.37 billion people are without food or unable to eat a balanced diet on a regular basis) yet the global food system facilitates. twice this number is considered to be overweight or obese.

· Women in the most deprived 10% of neighbourhoods in England now die 3.6 months earlier than they did in 2010. Their life expectancy is now 7.7 years shorter than that of the women in the richest areas. The differential for men is 9.5 years.

· Unhealthy food is cheaper than healthy food per calorie while … 1.9 million people live without a cooker, 2.8 million have no freezer and 900,000 no fridge – in the UK

Of course, no food sustainability festival is going to change all this but the first success has been to see so many companies want to come together, to collaborate and to see meaningful change.

And maybe this has been the major shift seen in recent times; when people have stopped, become aware of the challenges and want to see the action which starts the process of change.

All around there is great work going on across the industry and if a festival can highlight great works, generate genuine collaboration and inform better, then this is a success.

This is a journey which will build. Please do come and get involved.