On November 24, Gonzalo Blanca and Laura Batlle, researchers from the UNESCO Chair of ESCI-UPF, gave the workshop “The trace of our diet. Do you know its impact? “

On the one hand, Gonzalo Blanca, explained his work within the project Life + Zero Cabin Waste, studying the mechanisms that would allow to manage the waste of aircraft caterings in the most sustainable way. On the other hand, Laura Batlle, explained her work evaluating the carbon footprint of the food we consume, in order to reach healthy diets and respect the environment.

Throughout the session attendees were involved in an exercise that involved taking a plane to make a trip with the aim of reflecting on waste management and the carbon footprint of catering food. The passengers had the opportunity to choose between four different menus depending on their tastes: one composed of red meat, another of chicken, the Mediterranean with fish and vegetables and the vegetarian with pasta as main course. Then, they calculated which of the menus was the least polluting with the help of the inventory of the carbon footprint associated with the foods on the menu. The participants assigned the emissions to each of the ingredients to obtain an approximate figure of the total carbon dioxide expenditure and be able to compare the cards.

Finally, the general hypothesis was confirmed: the diet that contaminates more is the one that contains red meat by the set of gases emitted by cows and the subsequent processing of the meat.

To close the session, the doctoral students solved the doubts of the attendees and several debates were initiated, such as how the catering waste of the international airplanes could be treated without going directly to the landfill, or if the society would change its habits when it comes to choose the food products labeled indicating the total polluting emissions of their life cycle.

The content of this article has been extracted from the website of the Unesco Chair and Cycle of Life and Climate Change of ESCI-UPF, here you can find the full news: