Important documents

Many important documents are being analysed and developed throughout the project.

Methodology for calculating the carbon footprint of food

Calculating the carbon footprint of a recipe involves estimating the amount of greenhouse gases associated with all stages of ingredient production, cooking and serving.

The accuracy of the calculation of the CO2 emission of an individual dish depends on the quality and quantity of available data, therefore it is important to use the most accurate and up-to-date data. The tools available today on the Internet can be used to partially or fully calculate the carbon footprint of food or meals, depending on the parameters included in the formula. There are some free calculators available in English, and each has strong and weak characteristics.

The methodology for calculating the CO2 emission of an individual dish should include the following parameters:

1.            Ingredients: This includes the origin of the ingredients and their carbon emissions associated with production, transport and processing. The carbon footprint of ingredients such as meat, dairy and processed foods is higher compared to plant-based ingredients.

2.            Cooking method: The cooking method used to prepare the recipe can also affect the carbon footprint. For example, using a hob or oven uses more energy compared to a stove or microwave.

3.            Energy consumption: This refers to the energy used in cooking the recipe, including the energy used to heat the oven, hob or any other appliance used for cooking.

4.            Water consumption: The amount of water used in the preparation of the recipe is another factor to consider. Recipes that require large amounts of water may have a larger carbon footprint due to the energy consumption required to process the food and the amount of water delivered.

5.            Food waste: It is also necessary to take into account the amount of food waste generated during the preparation of the recipe. Food waste contributes to the production of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas.

6.            Packaging: The type of packaging used to store and transport food can also affect its carbon footprint. Using compostable or reusable packaging materials can significantly reduce your carbon footprint.

7.            Transportation: Consideration should be given to the distance and mode of transportation used to transport the ingredients as well as the final dish. Long-distance transport and the use of fossil fuel vehicles can contribute to a larger carbon footprint.

The methodology for calculating the carbon footprint of individual dishes can provide numerous advantages to the gastronomic sector in its efforts to mitigate climate change. Calculating the carbon footprint of a meal is an important step in understanding the impact of food preparation on the environment. This information can be used to make informed decisions about menu planning, ingredient selection and cooking methods, with the aim of reducing the carbon footprint and contributing to sustainable eating practices. Calculating the carbon footprint of a recipe provides valuable insight into the environmental impact of a dish and can help identify areas for improvement and implementation of sustainable practices in the gastronomy sector.

Report on the survey about the impact of food preparation

on climate change and CO2 emissions in the gastro sector

The survey was conducted in April 2023 as a part of project activity 1 „The analysis of the situation in the VET sector and catering/gastronomic sector in Croatia and Slovenia about the impact of food preparation on climate change and CO2 emissions in the gastro sector“.

The questionnaires were designed to assess the knowledge and skills of students and teachers in vocational education and employees in the gastronomy sector, which are related to the circular economy, climate change and CO2 emissions that occur during their work.

Additionally, they were adapted to the sample of respondents and were grouped into 4 parts:

1. Climate changes- assessment of knowledge on various aspects of climate change and levels of agreement with different statements

2. Food sustainability and climate change – assessment of knowledge about various practices related to food sustainability

3. The impact of food on the environment – questions related to negative effects on the environment caused by food production, processing, distribution and storage.

4. General data – gender, age, general working experience, specific working experience in school/restaurant

51 participants took part in the research – 21 chefs, 10 school teachers and lecturers for adult education and 20 students.

The main conclusions of the survey results are:

  • Insufficient knowledge about climate change;
  • It would be good to educate children at schools about climate change and sustainable nutrition (pupils and students know the least about sustainable food preparation);
  • Chefs have the most knowledge about food sustainability;
  • Respondents are mostly aware that climate change is a serious problem, but they are not aware of how it occurs, i.e. that the food that is produced, stored, transported, prepared and finally consumed affects the environment.

The survey results will be used to create an educational program in the field of gastronomy, for students and teachers of vocational schools and participants in adult education programs.

Kruh naš svagdašnji i klimatske promjene

Take a look at the presentation Kruh naš svagdašnji i klimatske promjene created by Sanja Tišma,