The Canteen in Bristol has started adding climate impact labels to its menus.
The restaurant, which only serves vegetarian and vegan food, is the first in Bristol to make the move. It joins other restaurant chains around the country, like Stem & Glory, which added climate labels to menus last year.
The Canteen is supported by vegan charity Viva!, as well as carbon calculation and labeling provider My Emissions. The former is urging the government to make climate menu labels mandatory, just like it has done with calorie information.
The food we eat impacts the planet. Eating beef once or twice a week for one year, for example, emits the same amount of greenhouse gasses as driving a petrol car for more than 1,500 miles. But eating the same amount of tofu emits the equivalent of driving that same petrol car for 32 miles.
Viva!’s managing director Laura Hellwig said: “It’s clear that a vegan diet is the best way for an individual to make a difference.”
“We’ve partnered with My Emissions, as well as The Canteen, to understand just how much impact carbon labels on our menus can have and to help diners realize the connection between what they’re eating and the environment,” she added.
‘A positive step’
Earlier this year, a study from Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg suggested that including climate labels on menus could help diners choose more climate-friendly, plant-based foods.
Researchers concluded it was one of the “easiest things” restaurant owners could do to encourage sustainable choices.
The Canteen’s head chef, Dr. Matthew Harris, said the new climate labeling is a “positive step in encouraging people to be more aware of the impact of their choices.”
He added: “If carbon labeling was rolled out across the UK, we’d see restaurants and customers encouraged to make better decisions around the food they consume.”