Sustainability also includes how and what we eat. There are many ideas that we can use to implement a more sustainable lifestyle, and with research we can ensure that our eating habits and food choices are sustainable options, meaning that what we eat has little impact on the planet.
There are some great projects happening already – take a look at how Todmorden are making local food available for everyone to just pick themselves, or Olio who are making sharing surplus food which would otherwise be thrown away easier by connecting neighbours with each other and with local businesses. Lab grown meat is beginning to take off and could be mentioned in your story.
There’s a lot of literature on what is sustainable and what isn’t, so it’s worth looking at the articles and videos below that explore those ideas a little more. Many make the point that a vegetarian diet has a lower carbon footprint than meat. But if you’re worried about your protein intake, a food source increasing in popularity is insects! See some of the videos below for more information.
You can also explore sustainable agriculture and local food initiatives such as guerrilla gardening, or check out semble (previously known as project dirt), or the incredible edible project. Here is an article on how wildflowers in crops can reduce the need for pesticides.
Focus: Foody stories are increasingly popular from the TV series ‘Delicious’ to films such as ‘The 100 foot journey’. Growing your own is popular at the moment – maybe write a story set in an allotment. Perhaps a story about an entrepreneur trying to set up an insect based restaurant, trying to convince people that insect-based food is healthy and delicious. They already exist – see https://www.bugsolutely.com/insect_restaurants/ Or take a look at a true story – see http://www.sciencefocus.com/article/nature/interview-grub-kitchen-insect-restaurant-wales
In background of story: You could show different consumption habits and food growing/eating practices in the background of any story you like. For example when shopping, there might be no packaging and everyone takes their own cup to the coffee shop, and their own containers to refill with various products. Such places already exist e.g. https://www.thehampshirerefillery.co.uk/, or they may stop for a bug burger. Perhaps just the pet food is plant based or insect based. Or promote the idea of seasonal food – asparagus in season grown locally for example is tenth of the carbon footprint of asparagus flown in out of season. Can you fit this naturally in the background of your story? Your main character could be vegan (and engaging rather that irritatingly preachy!) Then you could lyrically describe him/her cooking delicious plant-based meals.
A new Michelin green star is available to highlight restaurants that serve quality and sustainable food, so for a romantic date in your book, perhaps they could seek out a restaurant with a Michelin green star.
An example is the book Habitat Man which is a rom-com that has a sub plot about a character developing random recipe generator using seasonal foods, which has a joker column to introduce people to new low carbon foods foods such as insects or nettles.