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The Kitchen Connection Alliance and the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) teamed up to create a new cookbook that promotes human and environmental health. The Cookbook in Support of the United Nations: For People and Planet is a collection of 75 recipes from chefs around the world and will be available this Fall.
The cookbook invited a diverse roster of both lay and professional cooks to share their recipes for the project. Chefs Massimo Bottura, Grace Ramirez, and José Andrés are among the book’s contributors.
Earlene Cruz, Director of Kitchen Connection, helped bring this project to fruition. “It was a wonderful, at times challenging, and often enlightening experience to merge local and global perspectives to create this multifaceted project,” Cruz tells Food Tank. “Ultimately, to have both advocates, farmers, indigenous peoples, chefs, U.N. and non U.N.-partners all coming together around this issue highlights the importance that it has for humanity at large.”
The cookbook invites anyone with basic kitchen tools or minimal cooking experience to make more sustainable food choices. The cookbook also lists each dish’s carbon footprint, derived by calculating the sum of carbon emissions associated with each ingredient. Cruz hopes that readers using the book will help readers cook with the health of the planet in mind, helping readers to support biodiversity, reduce food waste, and mitigate climate change.
Cruz is also excited about the opportunity to introduce all readers to international cuisine and new cultures. “Like sports and other arts, the culinary world has a tremendous power to break down barriers and bring us all to the table,” Cruz tells Food Tank. “Once we’re together, these vehicles are powerful tools to help us change our world for the better.”
For several years, publishers had approached Kitchen Connection about the possibility of a cookbook. But once the U.N. approached Kitchen Connection to support their ActNow Campaign, Cruz recognized the role a cookbook could play in advancing the campaign’s mission.
The ActNow Campaign encourages individuals to make lifestyle changes that reduce environmental damage. One way they push for a net-zero future is by educating individuals about their diet’s carbon footprint. With the food system responsible for more than one third of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Emissions Database for Global Atmospheric Research, food choices can make a difference.
The Cookbook in Support of the United Nations also aligns with U.N. Sustainable Development Goals and the Kitchen Connection Alliance’s mission of educating and empowering the world’s youth to build a better food system. Cruz hopes this cookbook will leave a lasting impact on readers. “With this non-prescriptive guide, we hope to inspire readers to create new dishes beyond the Cookbook that are good for human and planetary health,” she tells Food Tank.
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Julia is a Chicago-based Research and Writing Intern at Food Tank. She holds a B.A. in Design from the University of Notre Dame where she also studied Anthropology and Business Economics. With a keen interest in public health and evolutionary biology, she empowers consumers to make more informed grocery choices through working with WhatsGood, a company taking a modern approach to localizing food systems. When she’s not working, Julia spends her time learning about urban agroecology, frequenting museums, playing piano, and spending as much time outdoors as the Midwestern climate permits.
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