COP 26: Being carbon-free in the kitchen


How to be sustainable without compromising on taste

With COP-26 currently making waves across the world, sustainability is at the forefront of our minds. There has also been discussion this week about the effects of food in regard to climate change with Paul McCartney urging the UK public to eat less meat and ministers debating a tax on meat. Is animal produce really going to get the chop?

In fact, eating plant-based is one of the easiest ways to go about being sustainable.

Jaume Biarnes, who leads the Yondu Culinary Studio in New York, has shared three small switches we can all make to reduce our carbon footprint in the kitchen.

  1. Be as plant-based as possible…

According to researchers at the University of Oxford, cutting meat and dairy products from your diet could reduce an individual’s carbon footprint from food by up to 73 per cent.

However, if you have always been carnivorously inclined, cut down on meat bit by bit. Start by trying vegetable alternatives and be pleasantly surprised. The humble mushroom can soak up flavours just as well as chicken, as can an aubergine.

Use seasoning to recreate meaty flavours. Yondu, all-purpose umami seasoning, has been designed to deepen the flavour of vegetables, creating a satisfying option for days you’re swapping out meat.

  1. Use every last scrap of food…

It is estimated by the IPPC that food waste is the reason for 8-10% of all global emissions. Preventing this can be done easily and benefits both the environment and your wallet.

Planning your meals ahead can be a massive time saver. Doing so will help remove stress from your week and make it far easier to minimize waste.

Remember you can use all your scraps! Turn your peels into flavourful vegetable or stems into a satisfying pesto. Save money by letting your creativity run free!

  1. Be led by the season..

The approaching harvest festival is a reminder that the UK produces a wide variety of seasonal foods. Focusing on what is local and in season is an easy way to reduce your carbon footprint.

We all have moments where we want to indulge in flavours from abroad, but take a seasonal approach to different cuisines. Not only will you be reducing air miles, but fusing new flavours, too. 

Umami spiced butternut squash with kale and pumpkin seeds has ingredients that are available locally but has the moreish taste that you would crave from any local takeaway.

Or you may be a little tired of houmous, in which case a parsnip or tahini dip combines the creaminess of the Lebanese favourite with the sweet taste of locally grown parsnip. Impress guests with your innovation and commitment to the best of British tastes.

Jaume Biarnes has an extensive background in promoting a sustainable plant-based diet which is both healthy and delicious:

“I enjoy tackling the misconceptions that to eat sustainably, you have to eat monastically. I have been using Yondu to add a kick of umami to add depth to my everyday creations for years now. The all-purpose seasoning is fantastic and can turn even the most committed carnivore into a vegetable fiend.”

From pastas and salads, to mid-afternoon snacks, Yondu’s fun and simple recipes can found on their website ( or on their Instagram All choices are healthy, natural and aim to bring pleasure to cooking for friends and family.

Yondu is available to purchase via its UK website and Amazon, retailing at £6.88 for 275ml. Visit for cooking inspiration.

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