Why is Culinary Arts and Nutrition Education an Important Lever of Sustainability and a Healthy Lifestyle ? Potential Solutions from a Perspective of a Hospitality
In general, culinary arts is related to design, food preparation, cooking and presentation of food. Culinary is part of a gastronomy and hospitality industry and is very linked with a development of a culture and society. Nowadays, expert chefs are required to have a knowledge of food science, nutrition and diets and are responsible for preparing meals, culinary procedures and a food and beverage management at restaurants, hotels, schools or other public catering facilities.
In my opinion, this is something we are aware of have have heard it before, but how does this all relate to sustainability and a lifestyle ? or better said, how much do we really know about the sustainable goals and how much of it are we incorporating in our everyday lives ? Having been working as a hospitality professional (have taken different roles and positions within a hospitality-sector) in the last 18 years provided me with a lot of fundamentals of sustainability and put me in a position of a Research Chef by communicating with customers, learning more about their demands, dietary requirements, sharing stories about their lifestyles and perception and philosophy of cooking.
The development of a society, progress in technology, cultural diversities and political changes have caused significant gaps inequalities which reflected our social and consumer behaviour and eating habits. Moreover, this trend has brought certain confusion even in gastronomy. Fore example, using the terms like “sustainable, green, eco-friendly, and ethical” has its meaning that everyone understands differently and a higher percentage of people (customers and consumers) cannot explain what sustainability is or how to get themselves involved in.
In addition to this, hospitality workforce, for instance chefs have the capacity and potential not only to develop recipes, but also to help to create a dialogue with stakeholders, educate communities and adopt healthy diets and work together with healthcare professionals. Furthermore, there are a few key areas we will be working on within our recently established collaborative open knowledge platform designed for creating a dialogue and educational interactions with hospitality and healthcare professionals, teachers and important organizations based in Geneva and Switzerland.
Leadership: Promoting healthy behaviours through medical care, schools, training and community-minded projects
Knowledge: Creating a „Learn and Share“ environment by strenghtening bridges and synergies between nutrition workforce, patients, hospitality customers and communities (a need of gaining new skills, sustainable training, exchanging information). Securing and developing resources through open platforms.
Assessment and Management Skills: Improved collaboration and communication. Assessment of social, psychological and biological predispositions of patients’ behaviors and the resulting health outcomes.
Community Support: Delivery of more nutrition and food education to schools. Collaborating with families and community-based projects. Supporting and creating a dialogue between science and regular people (all of us are part of a worldwide community). Having the ability to establish and practice in an interdisciplinary team.
Involvement of New Potential Areas: Exploring further areas like Hospitality and Culinary Arts considered as important levers of sustainability and healthy lifestyle. Chefs as Agents for Change and Ambassadors shaping public opinion, inspiring people and helping to translate the nutrition concepts and evidence-based information. Chefs and food professionals collecting data and contributing to the global research to incorporate
In conclusion to this blog, I was very happy to learn about Nutritank one year ago during researching and collecting data for my project. Coming from a hospitality industry, this an area which will always exist and it is one of the biggest global cultural and social platforms and tools to incorporate and implement knowledge and create synergies between sustainability and lifestyle. This is a very special area, which needs further research and support. Nutritank is completely following this mission and basic idea and provides a very important knowledge foundation on a European level. To support this point of view and add to what has been written above, we strongly believe to create a productive collaboration, follow this movement, promote it and get connected with the Swiss-based key collaborators, as well as Think-Tank hubs.
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