I´ve known Will since 2011, I think. He was among the first people I got to know in the social entrepreneurship community, and all the time I´ve know him he has focused on food. Either as a learning arena for young people or through teaching how to cook food that has a smaller impact on our environment. I have wanted to have more focus on food and how what we eat affects the environment here on our blog, so when Will said yes when I asked him I was so happy! And here he is!
Who are you?
Will Nicholson, 42 years old, previously a chef and restaurant owner, with an MSc in Green Economy. I run IntoFood, a social enterprise helping consumers and food businesses to make sustainable food choices.
What do you do?
We work in 2 areas, firstly helping restaurants and caterers to develop sustainable menus and reduce food waste. This means menus that have a low climate change impact, using more sustainable produce, and thinking more systematically about the food they use. We have a software tool, designed with ØstfoldForskning, to measure the environmental impact of the food used in a restaurant, hotel, or canteen. This means we can avoid «greenwash», and can help them with solutions that really matter.
We also work with consumers, because there is a lot of misunderstanding about food sustainability – its not just about «kort-reist» and organic food, but about climate change, water usage, deforestation and, of course, how much food we waste. We try to give people practical (and tasty) ways to take steps in the right direction.
Why is it important?
Food contributes more than 25% of the world’s man-made greenhouse gases, uses around 70% of freshwater supply, and is a leading driver of deforestation. And much of this is due to our high levels of meat consumption. Additionally, in a global population that is still growing, and with more countries living «consumer lifestyles», this pressure on the ecological system is going to get worse. Whilst there are solutions within food production that can reduce some of this impact, there is a lot of research that is saying that we also need to change our diets, fundamentally towards a better balance between vegetables and meat (more vegetables!). We also waste 30% of the food we produce, so one area we can make a big difference is to cut out food waste.
If we do not do these things, then the alternatives do not look too pretty!
Why do you want to blog here at Samfunnsinnovatørene?
We are stronger when we work together, and there is a growing social enterprise community in Norway, many of whom work in the food industry and environmental issues. So its good to be able to connect with each other and describe what, how and why we do what we do. If I can raise awareness a bit by blogging about food, then maybe it can give people a few ideas about how they could develop their solutions for the future because, no doubt, a food revolution is coming, and it can make the world a better place!