What is a sustainable diet and how do you get people to adopt one?


We shared the guidelines of the SU-Eatable Life project at the BCFN International Conference…

The SRA, alongside the Barilla Centre for Food and Nutrition, GreenApes and Wageningen University, have partnered to run a European-wide, LIFE funded project, SU-Eatable Life to deliver on the next step – how to get consumers to make better food choices.

With the prep phase of this project done and the delivery about to kick off, it was the perfect time for SRA Sustainability Consultant Aisling Hayes and I to head to Milan to meet with the European partners to set the eight key guidelines for a sustainable diet and deliver an update on how the programme will achieve reductions in water usage and GHG emissions.


First up, those eight guidelines:

1.Champion plant-based food in your diet

Make vegetables, legumes, nuts and fruit the basis of our daily diet.

2. Enjoy meat in moderate amounts

Enjoy meat in moderate amounts, especially red meat and processed meats.

3. Enjoy dairy products in moderation

Consume dairy products, including milk, in moderation.

4. Avoid too much food

Avoid having too much food on your table and in your daily diet to avoid excess calories and food waste.

5. Celebrate variety

Vary your diet with the seasons and enjoy regional products and local varieties.

6. Fresh is best (for you and for the environment)

Favour fresh and naturally prepared food in your diet.

7. Drink tap water whenever possible and safe

Drink plenty of water, choosing tap water over bottled water whenever it is possible and safe.

8. Reduce single-use!

Reduce, reuse and recycle food packaging by bringing your own bags, cups and cutlery whenever possible. Choose food with minimum packaging and recycle and reuse materials when you can.


Aisling was also able to inspire our partners with updates on the innovative initiatives our members are running to enhance the sustainability of the food they’re serving in workplace and university restaurants. This included profiling Artizian’s Plant Power range, who are participating in the project, as well as Vacherin’s award-winning work on reducing Food Waste.

We were delighted to be joined in Italy by two SRA members who were profiling their own fantastic work; Katy Boom from the University of Worcester and Conor Spacey from FoodSpace. Katy spoke about the Green Week Worcester hosts, which is focused on bringing tangible sustainability to students and citizens alike. Conor spoke about his work with the Chef’s Manifesto and FoodSpace’s commitment to sourcing locally and not compromising on things you know are right. Conor finished his presentation with some key advice; question everything, know your effects and share your changes. Only then substantial positive change can happen.

It was a popular talk, with a sold-out audience of over 100 people, and almost 1000 watching on the online live-stream. With the project action phase starting in January, exciting times are around the corner! If you would like to follow the project, you can do so by signing up for the newsletter or please email [email protected] for more information. There will be regular updates on these pages too.

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