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What is the one blue dot toolkit?

The ‘One Blue Dot (OBD) Environmentally Sustainable Diets Toolkit is a document primarily created for Dietitians to help them understand the nexus around food choice and human and planetary health.

OBD represents the fact that planet Earth is our home. It is the only one we have and, ultimately, taking care of it lies squarely with each of us.

Although planetary diets are recognised as a global problem this document leans towards the UK food system and food guidelines. It touches upon food ethics; this is not it’s core focus.

Typically clinicians have a knowledge gap on how environmental and agricultural sciences are connected to food so this document helps to bring all these areas together.

It is a ‘live’ toolkit and continually adapts with the latest scientific research.

OBD attempts to answer questions such as;

How much red meat should we eat to maintain good health whilst keeping in line with UK greenhouse gas emission targets?

What is the optimum amount/type of fish we need to eat for health whilst preserving minimising environmental impact on fish stocks or from fish farms?

OBD has a useful ‘meal swap’ tool to help users identify ways to make everyday choices more healthy and sustainable e.g modifying traditional spaghetti bolognaise to be made up of half meat, half lentil sauce and a smaller portion of pasta to allow for a serving of salad. Here is a summary of OBD’s top tips:

  • Watch how much meat you eat, especially beef red meat and lamb
  • Try and have some meat free days.
  • Keep your portions small – no more than 70g (100g cooked weight).
  • Have more plant food sources of protein such as beans, lentils, soya mince, Quorn™, nuts and seeds.
  • Try replacing half or all the meat in classic recipes with some plant protein foods.
  • Moderate your dairy intake
  • Choose lower fat versions or fortified plant based varieties.
  • Fruit + Veg, Aim for your 5-a-day but keep it sustainable.
  • Choose local and seasonal produce.
  • Avoid fruit and veg that have been flown in.
  • Avoid chopped/prepared and packaged fresh fruit and veg/salads.
  • Have some potatoes, bread, pasta, rice and other starchy carbohydrate foods.
  • Eat wholegrains and tubers such as potatoes whenever possible
  • Buy fish from sustainable sources
  • Look for the Marine Stewardship Council or Aquaculture Stewardship Council symbols.
  • Aim for x2 portions /week, one of which is oily
  • Tips to waste less.
  • Buy tinned or frozen fruit and vegetables if you tend to throw away a lot when you buy fresh.
  • Plan your meals ahead and only buy what you need.
  • If food is nearing its use by date, cook it and freeze.
  • Any waste should be recycled – it makes for great compost.
  • Cook leftovers.
  • Reference
Louise Symington

Louise is Registered Dietitian with a Masters in Food Sustainability. She has worked for the NHS as well as charities such as the National Trust. She now runs workplace wellness projects, food growing projects and her own freelance consultancy.

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