Using the foods we love and need to tell the climate change story
Raising awareness about climate change through the foods we love and need
Primarily the US but also other rich countries, worldwide | 15 April 2021 – ongoing
Our initiative uses something we encounter and communicate about every day, it is imbedded in our cultures and family histories, and we love and need it—food. It is vital that communication about climate change be relevant to people’s lives and food is ideal. Our communication initiative has already made great strides with the release of Our Changing Menu: Climate Change and the Foods we Love and Need (Cornell Press, April 2021) and a companion on-line platform/website, Our Changing Menu.
The website’s story is like the book’s but also includes a searchable database of potentially hundreds of food ingredients and how they are changing. Our interactive platform also taps the power of humor and social media to share this story and facilitate conversations among chefs and others to tell their stories.
At the heart of our story is a menu and as we venture from before dinner drinks to desserts, we describe the changes underway. Wakeup calls include the escalating risks to our food system but also increasing risks to chocolate, vanilla, and spuds, and how flavors and aromas are changing, and how the loss of glacial meltwaters in Peru will affect blueberry availability to North America. Our story also helps people to appreciate where their food comes from and the challenges it faces on the way to their table, understand the basics of climate change, and how the plants we depend on for life are being changed. We also emphasize solutions, such as what farmers, scientists, food businesses, and others are doing and, most importantly, what we all can do. The number of stories to be told and the audience are unlimited.
Our story is not all doom and gloom and there are no villains. We draw attention to climate change through food, offer solutions, and offer hope. We are all in this together and through the common ground of the food our goal is to catalyze a climate change social movement that brings about the transformations we need in every sector of society.
More info & Social Media
Editor’s Note: All information published as submitted by the author(s). Minor edits may have been made to increase readability and understanding.