A guide to a climatarian diet

An environmental approach to dining

Many of us are moving towards a ‘climatarian’ diet to reduce our environmental impact. Here, we explore this concept and its growing popularity.


What is a climatarian?

Simply put, a climatarian chooses what to eat according to what is least harmful to the environment. This involves eating local produce which usually has a lower carbon footprint than ingredients that have been transported across the world.

The term climatarian entered the Cambridge Dictionary in 2015 and the concept is gaining momentum as our environmental responsibilities become increasingly important. Restaurants are making their menus climatarian friendly, apps such as Kuri are offering climatarian recipes and companies such as the tech startup Moonshot are selling “sustainability software” to encourage food companies to track their environmental impact.


How to become a climatarian

Consumers are becoming more aware of the environmental impact their dietary choices have and are taking action. 

Being a vegetarian is no longer the answer to help reverse climate change, as swapping meat in favour of vegetables grown in greenhouses that then travel thousands of miles to reach supermarkets can increase a person’s carbon footprint rather than reduce it. 

As well as sourcing seasonal fruit and vegetables, many climatarians avoid wasting food and swap ready meals for cooking from scratch to reduce packaging. Choosing products certified as being free from palm oil also helps, so virgin rainforests – which soak up carbon – are not cut down to make way for plantations.


Where to dine on climatarian produce in Europe

Several Rocco Forte hotel restaurants have already implemented menus that suit a climatarian mindset.

The Michelin-starred Chef Director Adam Byatt at Brown’s Hotel in London creates classic British dishes with a contemporary twist using local, seasonal produce at Charlie’s

Number One in The Balmoral in Edinburgh meanwhile also sources its ingredients from a list of trusted farmers and fishermen to create Scottish cuisine with a modern flair.

Sophia’s in The Charles in Munich meanwhile is known for what it calls botanical bistronomy, which means it uses ingredients from the old botanical gardens that border the hotel as well as produce that has been hand-picked by local producers. Its handcrafted cheese comes from dairies, alpine farms and monasteries while its game and trout is sourced from Gutshof-Polting, a family-run farm in Bavaria that was established in 1899.

In Sicily, Verdura Organic Farm is a 230-hectare estate in the grounds of Verdura Resort with 2,000 olive trees, 3,000 orange trees, 250 almond trees, 150 prickly pear cacti, 120 pomegranate trees and 50 lemon trees. As well as rosemary, sage, mint and fennel, farmers also grow melons, tomatoes and vegetables such as artichokes, aubergines and red peppers. These are handpicked every day and served in the hotel’s restaurants and bars. Guests can also take home the farm’s olive oil, pesto and pâté. 

Rocco Forte Hotels prides itself on serving locally-sourced dishes across Europe.