Weekend Science workshop: the impact of the food we eat on the environment

The UNESCO Chair in Life Cycle and Climate Change ESCI-UPF is ready to participate in the 12th edition of the Barcelona Science Festival by holding a workshop on the environmental impacts of food consumption on 10th June, at 16.50 and 17.20 p.m, within the space 11-12 “Living more, living better”. The Festival will take place during the whole weekend in the Parc de la Ciutadella in Barcelona (entrance via Passeig Pujades - Passeig Lluís Companys) and will involve the record level of more than 230 free activities for all ages, run by more than 100 organisations, research centres, universities, and outreach services companies from around Catalonia, including the Chair. It is a recognised event in the city, which annually brings together more than 10,000 citizens interested in science.

The Parc de la Ciutadella in Barcelona will be turned into a science exhibition for a weekend, hosting this well-established festival that involves hundreds of activities held in 33 purpose-designed spaces for all ages, including activities aimed at children up to 6 years old. In this edition, the Festival will focus on almost all areas of scientific research and technological innovation, ranging from the fundamental particles, through molecules, cells, the human body, the biosphere, and the Solar System to the borders of the Universe.

Food Footprint Workshop

As part of the programmed activities, Laura Batlle-Bayer, PhD Candidate responsible for the Agrifood Research Line and the CERES Pro-Con Project at the Chair, and Gonzalo Blanca-Alcubilla, PhD Candidate of the Waste Management Research Line and associated with the LIFE Zero Cabin Waste Project, will be holding a workshop entitled: What's the environmental footprint of food? This outreach activity is aimed to bring science closer to the general public and raise awareness of the carbon footprint of food.

At this workshop, the public will have a unique opportunity to find out about the carbon footprint of inflight meals by comparing the impacts of 3 different menu cards from a life cycle perspective. During a 25-minute session, participants will be asked to imagine that they are flying on an airplane and have to make decisions on the catering menu, considering several issues before selecting an option: participants will receive a carbon footprint inventory associated with the food products.

Through the activity, participants will have a chance to deepen their knowledge of environmental impacts of food consumption alongside our researchers. On the one hand, Laura Batlle-Bayer, responsible for the ‘Ceres-ProCon Project: Food production and consumption strategies for climate change mitigation’, will introduce the greenhouse gas emissions of food consumption. The Ceres-ProCon Project, co-funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness, is aimed at “designing strategies to improve the sustainability of food production and consumption,” explains Batlle-Bayer.

On the other hand, Gonzalo Blanca-Alcubilla will explain the carbon footprint associated with the generation and management of cabin waste. As part of the LIFE Zero Cabin Waste Project, co-funded by the European Union through the LIFE Programme, Blanca-Alcubilla is responsible for analysing the carbon footprint of the current system compared to the future system, using Life Cycle Assessment. “This project seeks to create an integrated model to reduce, reuse and recycle waste collected on Iberia airplanes and lay the foundations to enable other airlines to replicate this model,” he highlights.

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