Climate Friendly Food Lovers

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UNAIDS cafeteria achievements – Susie Bolvenkel-Prior’s account

Susie Bolvenkel-Prior, who negotiated the Meat Free Day in the UNAIDS cafeteria with EURES told us her experience:

She said that it was not difficult to persuade the cafeteria, because they were very open for the greening idea, and after the first successful day they saw that there ware no financial losses. (The food is cheaper this way, and people still come and enjoy the food). She also achived banning paper cups. She emphasized that the choice and the quality very much depends on the chef.

She is also pushing for locally produced products. (Apples from overseas should not be sold, neither raspberries in the winter). Organic is difficult, because the authentication is often fuzzy.


Climate Friendly Food in UN Cafeterias

Only illustration. Photo by moirabot CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Only illustration. Photo by moirabot CC

Climate Friendly Food Lovers will visit a UN cafeteria each month and check the climate friendly options available.

There are already a number of UN cafeterias in Geneva, where hot climate friendly meals are available on certain days. The Climate Friendly Food Lovers will visit and review each of them and make suggestions how to make the selection even more climate friendly.

Please feel free to contact us at climatefriendlyfoodlovers/at/ if you would like to start a climate friendly project in your cafeteria or if you would like to tell us about the climate friendly options already available. At the moment we are active in Geneva, Switzerland, but would love to hear from you if you would like to join us at other duty stations.

Geneva cafeterias where climate friendly meals are available on certain days already:

In the restaurants operated by DSR (Palais des Nations, Palais Wilson, Motta and in the Environment House in Chatelaine) there is one completely plant based menu available on Wednesdays which is marked “Vegetalien” (vegan). In the Palais there is a salad bar, and vegan pasta is available on request, though not clearly marked vegan. Some of the food offered is organic, seasonal and/or local. In Chatelaine there is a limited selection of salads available daily. On December 5th a leaflet explaining the links between climate change and lunch choices was distributed in the cafeterias, and the management of the cafeteria seems to be open to the idea of marking their available plant-based foods vegan and/or climate-friendly. We look forward to the implementation very much.

It would be nice if hot plant-based options were available every day and all vegan food was marked clearly, possibly even indicating that the meal is climate friendly. Many staff members, who are not vegetarian/vegan or lactose intolerant would choose plant-based hot meal options just to be able to reduce their carbon footprint or for health reasons.

In the Red Ribbon Café/Café Ruban Rouge (UNAIDS) the last Thursday of every month is a meat free day, but even on other days climate friendly 100% plant based hot meals are available and there is a large salad bar as well.

In the WHO cafeteria negotiations are under way to extend the variety of more sustainable meal options.

At the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction  in May 2013there will be vegan lunch options available for the delegates.

More detailed analysis of the climate friendly food options in UN cafeterias is coming soon.