About the project

There is a proven impact of our lifestyle to the environment. One of the main factor is our eating habits. Even a minor change of each person’s eating habits towards more environment friendly have been estimated to have a major impact to the environment. The impact includes factors like greenhouse gas emission, water pollution, land degradation, and loss of biodiversity. There has been a quick development among average people in understanding the environmental harms that extensive consumption and production of meat (livestock) causes. Also, there has been launches of many successful protein products to replace the beef, pork, chicken as well as dairy products and other traditional protein sources like fish and seafood. The products made of vegetable, seaweeds or other seafood and recently also from insects etc. have a great potential not only in solving the world hunger but also as an sustainable daily nutrition in developed countries.

This change also opens new business opportunities for new food production. Even some actors of the industry have been able to see the change and they have opened product lines and shelf space for these products. The education is a key factor in offering skilled people for all the levels and areas of each business ecosystem.

The food business is no exception. The the change challenges the traditional actors such as restaurants and educational institutions training chefs. The sustainable investments are less risky if the ecosystem and clients are ready to environment friendly services and products.

The investments to VET education form a part of the investments needed for sustainability, performance and efficiency. Skills related to science (knowledge of proteins and nutrition as well as environmental issues) gain bigger impact if there are skilled and trained professionals implementing the change. When the vocational training is involved to this change the culinary professionals are only one of the groups involved. Via the internal and external networks of participating VET the investments on skills will spread to other parts of the value chain, for example to the agriculture, transport and other industries.

Focused On VET

Introducing systematic approaches to, and opportunities for, the initial and continuous professional development of VET teachers, trainers and mentors in both All the changes in this world are not digital. The need of development the skills related to the real world are still relevant. The change of eating habits is a major cultural change involving taboos, ancient customs, likes and dislikes. The knowledge and the demand is important factor but combining them with the practical capability of implementing and showing example is an unique skill education traditionally has. The Vocational training and continuous professional training of the cooks and chefs is a must if we want to support the needed change.

Food is an issue of passion. By trained chefs and cooks taking the alternative proteins to one’s plate, will be seen as a positive lifestyle choice promoted by foodies and trendmakers, gourmet success stories and lifestyle first runners.

The skills of teachers have a scalability. One cook in his restaurant or in one household can only make limiteds number of meals. On the other hand the teacher training cooks have wider influence to the industry. The influence has practical dimension – by knowledge and skills and also dimension related to attitudes and values. Updating the capacity of educational system has impact on both.

Targets And Beneficiaries

The primary target group of this project is teachers who train cooks and chefs. The secondary target groups are students aiming to work with food or nutrition and people who already work in the food industry. The project invites teachers to learn but also students are involved and will be ambassadors during the project lifetime.

The project will:

  • List usable alternative proteins and recipes for teachers and restaurant business.
  • Create innovative recipes based on the alternative proteins, make menus with recommendations for wine/ side dishes.
  • Train teachers on topics like as the  impact to climate change as well as practical cooking skills.
  • Produce training material on nutrition, food and climate change and cooking under the domain of alternative proteins.
  • Develop a Train the Trainer workshop and make a description and materials for the train the trainer module for future needs.
  • Develop a training module that can be included to the study curriculum in different NQF levels.

The beneficIaries of this project are:

  • Educational institutions who can gain from the material produced.
  • Teachers using the new, innovative material to train their students.
  • Students that are trained to be chefs in (H)VET colleges in Europe.
  • General public: more availability of alternative protein foods in restaurants, recipes and information.
  • Restaurant business interested in participating in and benefitting from the change.
  • Companies who produce or harvest life forms that may be used as alternative proteins.
  • Companies with any role in the alternative proteins business ecosystem.

Doing this project internationally is a great asset to understand the cultural biasses and to learn.

Expected Results

To rise the awareness and change attitudes within the immediate target group, secondary target group and wide audience.

The attitude change is hoped to move from suspecting to curious and from positive to action. We do not aim that people end up vegetarians or give up meat completely. We aim that people influenced by the project replace some of the meat or fish they eat with other protein sources.The project will give concrete means to future professionals cooking our meals (daily to once a week) by training people who train them (train the trainer). As a result there will be trained people and tools for them (and others) to educate themselves into being able to turn alternative protein (ingredients) into delicious and healthy meals. There will be a significant change of knowledge of participants as individuals and as organization. We aim to explore that knowledge in the future in education, but also in new ambitious projects (like H2020).

We also aim to improve the VET’s role in start-up scene. This is likely to improve the image of VET training but also improves the relevance of the education they give. The aim might be realized easily if the right people in the impact area of the project meet. They might be from different sectors (like construction-IoT, electricity IoT, Care – robotics etc.)