Climate Voices

December 2, 2018
By: Michelle Courtright, Window into COP24 Delegate

Fig Goes to Poland!

Could the answer to a significant decrease in greenhouse gases be completely within our own control, with something as delicious as a bowl of soup?

We are heading to the United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP24, to find out! It’s been reported by the University of Chicago that if every American ate one less meat meal per week, it would be the annual equivalent of taking 500,000 cars of the roads. It’s an astonishing statistic with the potential to change social norms about food choices as quick as we’ve moved the needle on issues like recycling and LGBTQ rights.

We started the plant-based restaurant Fig + Farro as a call to action to educate guests about livestock’s effect on greenhouse gases. Since opening in January 2018, we’ve collaborated with Mayor Jacob Frey to issue a proclamation for Minneapolis citizens to eat less meat, introduced plant-based meals to Minneapolis Public School cafeterias, and had meaningful conversations with thousands of restaurant patrons who were previously unaware that what they ate has a direct impact on climate change.

Our goal with COP24 is to learn more from food and agriculture experts who are refining data and research methods about GHG’s, including powerful methane and nitrous oxide that have previously not been calculated. We look forward to meeting people who can explain more about food, transportation, best soil practices, livestock agriculture’s influence on policy and other climate related topics.

We also want to connect with people on one of the world’s most loved and revered subjects: food.

Whether you’re eating falafel in Tel Aviv, curry in Goa, or ramen in Tokyo, people of all races, religions, and political perspectives can agree that food can be a universal force of good. It connects us in ways we cannot describe and creates stories and nostalgia that rival the best novels. If we can agree that reducing meat in our diets is both delicious and environmentally required to combat climate change, we could perhaps solve this existential problem with tools as simple as our forks and knives. I’ll be featuring plant-based pictures on our Instagram page (@figfarro) as I travel to Europe and share new data points from researchers on food and agriculture.

A tremendous heartfelt thank you to the crew at Climate Generation who has nurtured our team’s curiosity on the subject and is allowing us to be part of their business delegation. We are incredibly lucky to learn from the world’s top climate change activists and share our humble perspective as foodies and citizen activists!