It’s never too late to do the right thing

jamais-trop-tot-pour-bien-faire

European Sustainable Development Week encourages us, individually and collectively, to take concrete action for a better world. The theme for 2022 is ‘A better quality of life’ — what we do on a daily basis adds quality to our lives and helps to sustainably transform societies.

European Sustainable Development Week (ESDW) will take place from 18 September to 8 October. It aims to promote the ecological transition by supporting local activities and raising public awareness about sustainable development. For many years, the Louis Bonduelle Foundation has been an enthusiastic contributor and has organised concrete activities to support this initiative.

Young and old flexitarians

This year, the Foundation has chosen an activity that will stimulate both awareness and taste buds among young and old alike. The aim is to come up with a flexitarian version of French cuisine classics that will appeal to everyone. Our budding cooks have taken up this challenge with gusto; we will tell you all about it shortly.

Let’s first take a look at our current eating habits. A vegetarian diet would clearly be ideal to better manage our planet’s resources. Our eating and cooking habits, however, are still a far cry from this objective, according to a 2020 study by Ifop for FranceAgriMer which focused on a large and representative sample of the French population: 15,000 people between the ages of 15 and 70.

Vegetarians remain marginal, but flexitarianism is gaining ground. Only 2.2% of French people have completely excluded meat from their diet (pescatarians, vegetarians or vegans). Almost a quarter of them, however, purposely limit their consumption (flexitarians).

There is a willingness, especially among young people, to go vegan. But the vast majority of respondents, 85%, do not intend to change their diet. Meat remains deeply rooted in the French diet, but people’s attitudes towards it are evolving. Thus, 68% of respondents believe that too much meat is eaten in France.

Eating a little less meat, and making more room for vegetables, seems to be an achievable goal for everyone. Let’s see what our young chefs think and how they can inspire us.

Four classics revisited

The challenge was to ‘flexitarianise’ a number of childhood favourites from French traditional cuisine. It was well worth it, given the outcome. First, the amount of meat was substantially reduced and the number of vegetables was substantially increased in each recipe. The process was also a fun intergenerational experience, chockfull of joyful creativity and sensory stimulation.

So, give it a try and enjoy an epicurean adventure. Learn how to make a vegetable-based shepherd’s pie, a vol-au-vent in which vegetables reign supreme, a quiche Lorraine with bacon as an option, and a generously filled savoury galette without ham. Our young chefs will talk you through the recipes to whet your appetites and also make you environmentally conscious. A healthy planet does not require a drastic change in our eating habits, but eating a little more ‘flexi’ is a good start.

 

CHECK OUT RECIPE VIDEOS

Gnocchi and mushrooms in puff pastry shells

Pumpkin and goat cheese buckwheat pancakes

Quiche Lorraine with spinach

Bolognese-style hachis Parmentier