UK: On World Refrigeration Day leading chefs are reminding us that cooling enables nutritional diets, helps reduce the number of undernourished, and can lower greenhouse gas emissions.
The chefs are part of the Chefs4thePlanet network which is joining with United Nations Environment Programme OzonAction and Global Food Cold Chain Council in the Cooling Keeps Food Fresh campaign. It aims to raise awareness of cooling technologies that reduce food loss and promote climate security. Twenty-two associations in the cooling industry and four intergovernmental agencies support the campaign which launches today.
It is estimated that food production accounts for 26% of total greenhouse gas emissions with 24% of that emitted from uneaten food. Besides the beneficial environmental impact of expanding the cold chain, nutritionists expect that 950 million people could be fed from food loss due to lack of refrigeration. In 2018, there were an estimated 821 million undernourished people in the world, with world population expected to grow by 2 billion in 2050.
This prompted Juergen Goeller, co-chair of the Global Food Cold Chain Council to state: “A sustainable food cold chain will be an economic, social and environmental net-positive.”
The Cooling Keeps Food Fresh campaign kicks off with short video messages delivered by the chefs in social media. The chefs also share recipes which depend on cooling for their preparation on the campaign website.
“Thanks to our fridges and our cooling systems, we have fresh products everyday like our fish and vegetables. Cooling takes good care of our products,” commented Swedish chef Henrik Andersson.
Paris-based chef Laurent Pichaureaux observed: “Cooling, whether refrigerated or frozen, allows us to maintain the optimum quality of products from harvest to final use in the kitchen.”
Compatriot Gregory Cohen added: “With the fridge, we have food that can be kept longer with the same freshness. We can transport food from one place to another without risk of deterioration. Nowadays, there is good technology to keep food fresher with less impact on the environment.”
Drawing on scientific studies, the campaign describes how cooling keeps food safe, promotes nutritious diets by prolonging shelf-life, helps feed the undernourished, and can help protect the environment.
“What causes malnutrition is lack of accessibility,” insists Mercedes Ahumada a traditional Mexican chef. “The cold chain is a vital element for food safety. Each stage is intertwined with another, from collection to storage, packaging, warehousing, transport to point of sale, and storage at point of consumption.”
Cooling can also contribute to reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and reduced energy bills. “Besides its main purpose of keeping food fresh and safe to eat, your refrigerator can also be an agent of change to help solve environmental challenges such as preserving Earth’s ozone layer, fighting climate change, and promoting energy efficiency,” says Jim Curlin who heads UNEP’s OzonAction.
To learn more about how Cooling Keeps Food Fresh, visit www.coolingfood.com.