1. What is the Erasmus Food Lab?

The Erasmus Food Lab is an initiative located at the Erasmus University of Rotterdam. We aim to promote sustainable food and raise awareness about the environmental impact of food consumption. To accomplish this mission, we help students doing research, provide information and sustainable recipes on our website and social media, organize events and work with professional of the field

2. What events does the Food Lab organize?

The Erasmus Food Lab organizes weekly afterclass cooking sessions every Wednesday from 18h to 19h30. During those sessions, you get the opportunity to cook and eat an entire plant-based meal with a group of students. We also created a format called “Cooking with an expert”, which combines education and a cooking workshop in an informal context. To know more about those events: check our workshop page!

3. Can I join the Food Lab?

Of course! We are always looking for volunteers to do video production or editing, organize interviews on campus, cook recipes to add on the website, organize projects or events etc. If you are interested in joining our team, contact us at info@erasmusfoodlab.nl

4. Where are you located?

We are located at the Erasmus Sustainability Hub, at ground floor of the Mandeville Building

5. What is sustainable food?

The term sustainable food refers to food whose environmental impact is reduced. This takes into account CO2 emissions, water and land use, the use of chemicals etc. Social criteria may also be taken into account, such as whether farmers get fair wages. We can identify four pillars of sustainable foods, which are:

Plant-based: Animal based products are responsible for a large share of greenhouse gases emissions, deforestation, water pollution etc. Beef is responsible for at least 6 times more greenhouse gases emissions and uses 36 times more land than the production of a plant-based protein like peas (Poore & Nemecek, 2018). Additionally, producing animal-based food requires the use of a large amount of resources, especially water and crops like soy.

Seasonal: Buying products out of season means that they either come from faraway places, or that they are produced unsustainably. For example, producing dutch tomatoes in February requires a lot of energy, used to heat greenhouses etc.

Local: Food imported from foreign countries travels by trucks, boats or airplanes. All those means of transportation are responsible for C02 emissions. Nevertheless, eating only local products does not mean that your diet is sustainable. An an example, cheese may be local, however, it is responsible for a large amount of CO2 emissions.

Organic: While organic food might be not responsible for less CO2 emissions, choosing organic products prevents the use of polluting chemicals, which end up in soils, water and in our body!

6. How do you calculate the CO2 emissions of recipes?

The CO2 emissions of recipes are calculated using Eaternity database, which estimates the C02 impact of ingredients and takes into account transport, location and seasonal availability. They are calculated for the Netherlands and the month during which the recipe was posted.