Today, the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) launches a new web tool – Laura’s Larder – designed to help you figure out how to eat healthily for you, and for the planet. The first of its kind, the tool allows you to put in what you eat, and shows what the nutritional qualities and deficits are, and what impact it has on the global environment in terms of greenhouse gas emissions. It then makes some suggestions for improvement, allowing you to make changes to what you might eat and to see the impact.
As well as being available on the website, the calculator tool will become part of the permanent displays the Visitors Centre at CAT, and visitors will be able to calculate the health and environmental impacts of their diet during their visit.
Laura Blake, the nutritionist and researcher behind Laura’s Larder, says:
“Its really important that we make sure we’re eating a diet that is healthy for both people and planet, which is why we’ve designed this tool. We hope it will help people make positive changes to their diets, in a way that suits them.”
The tool was developed after research into healthy, sustainable diets as part of the Zero Carbon Britain project at CAT. A report detailing the results of this research – People, Plate and Planet– is also released today. Looking into nutrition, greenhouse gas emissions and land use, the report identifies that what makes the most significant impact is what we eat, not where it comes from or how much packaging there is around it, although obviously, making good decisions about all these things do help make our food system more sustainable.
With huge health problems in the UK today (over 60% of adults are overweight or obese, and about 70% of deaths in the UK are related to our diets in some way); agriculture in the UK using about 70% of our land, even though we import about 42% of what we eat; and food systems contributing significantly to global greenhouse gas emissions as a result; there is huge scope for improvement in all these areas if we change what we eat. As a result, dietary change plays an integral role in decarbonising the UK, as shown in Zero Carbon Britain: Rethinking the Future, released last year.