Module 4


When we talk about sustainable cooking, we are referring to a technique for the collection, use and transformation of food based on knowledge of its origin and its consequences for the personal, social, environmental, and economic health of our planet. The idea is that, in addition to the impact of cooking and the entire economic cycle related to our food being as environmentally friendly as possible, all these activities should be carried out with practices aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

These goals are aimed at dictating guidelines to governments and citizens so that our development is not done at the expense of the destruction of our planet, but that the criterion of sustainability is always adopted.

In addition, you will be able to enjoy an explanatory video so that you can see in a practical way how these techniques should be made and what precautions should be considered. This module also includes a vocabulary sheet that will be very useful in the future.

Finally, there is a test that you will have to take to find out if you have learnt this lesson well or if, on the contrary, you need to revise it a little more. 

Have fun with this module and enjoy the process!

Module 4

Sustainability and waste management

Sustainability and waste management are two of the most important components of being environmentally responsible. By leading a more sustainable life there are compromises to be made such as, endeavouring to reduce our resource consumption and increase our usage of renewable sources. Reducing, reusing, recycling, and reducing are all examples of effective waste management practices to ensure that items are repurposed or disposed of that minimise harm to ecosystems and human health. 

Health and safety

Health and safety are of the utmost importance in a kitchen setting. This ensures the well-being of both the culinary worker and consumers. With the fast-paced nature of the culinary sector it can be difficult to remember all the health and safety practices that need to be followed. Personal hygiene, food storage and handling, knife safety, allergen awareness, personal protective equipment (PPE) and first aid are all important policies that should be followed to decrease risks associated with the sector whilst maintaining hygienic workspaces. 

Study Sheets

Recycling in the kitchen
Description of the action

Recycling in the kitchen is an extremely important part of reducing food waste and being sustainable in your everyday life, as the kitchen is used several times every day. 

By having separate bins in the kitchen to help separate food waste for recycling and composting, less waste is created. By having a general waste bin and recycling bin waste can be disposed of correctly therefore avoiding pollution. By familiarising yourself with what can be recycled e.g., clean paper, cardboard and plastic containers, the process of recycling has less chance of being contaminated and will be more effective.

Use of zero-kilometre products
Description of the action

Zero-kilometre products are items that are sourced, produced, and sold locally within a very short ‘0 km’ distance from the point they will be sold from. 

The philosophy of zero-kilometre products is closely linked to the idea of supporting local businesses and economies, reducing carbon emissions that are associated with travelling and the environmental impact of long-distance transportation. 

Zero-kilometre products are essentially fruit, vegetables, legumes, milk, eggs, wine, meat, cereals, and other agri-food products. Although, over time the genres are expanding beyond food products for example, holiday packages in km 0.

Trash cooking
Description of the action

Trash cooking is the ‘art of making the most of food’ and has become somewhat of a popular trend amongst people, but by no means is trash cooking a new phenomenon.  

Simply put, trash cooking is the integral use of food, to avoid food wastage. This gastronomic trend is rooted in reducing as much waste as possible in the kitchen whilst still enjoying good food. Trash cooking can include products that are nearing their expiration dates, are slightly damaged or aesthetically unappealing but still perfectly safe to cook with. Some examples of trash cooking include smoothies using overripe fruit, vegetable stir-fry using wilted vegetables and casseroles using leftover cooked meat. Trash cooking aligns with sustainability efforts by making use of resources that have already been produced. 

Recycling of used oil
Description of the action

Cooking oil that has been used and left untreated can be harmful for the environment. However, when it is recycled correctly, it can be turned into biodiesel. This is a fuel that can be used to heat homes and power cars and other vehicles. To recycle oil, it needs to be allowed to cool completely, before transferring to a sealable container to ultimately deliver it to a designated oil recycling facility. 

By recycling used cooking oil, it is a contribution to environmental conservation and a reduction in the demand for new resources. Action like this supports the development of sustainable fuels and products.  

Avoiding plastics
Description of the action

The use of plastic is very prevalent in our kitchens. From single use cutlery to plastic food storage and packaging, our kitchens tend to use much unnecessary plastic. However, there are many alternatives to choose from to avoid plastic in the kitchen. 

Simple alternatives to plastic food storage include glass or stainless-steel containers that are just as readily available to consumers as plastic ones. Another simple solution to avoid so much plastic consumption and waste is to invest in a water filtration system or purchase a reusable water bottle to cut down on single use water bottle purchases. 

Do not waste water
Description of the action

Reducing water waste in general is important and is a step towards conservation and being more environmentally friendly. Water conservation in the kitchen is particularly important as it is the location where so much wastage occurs daily. 

The following are some helpful tips to follow to reduce water waste in the kitchen. Using the dishwasher more efficiently can massively decrease water waste, only using it when there is a full load or restricting it to only one load a day will make all the difference. As well as recycling your used oil, you can recycle your water. After boiling vegetables or pasta for example, let the water cool and reuse it to water plants. A running tap is one of the easiest ways to track up your daily water consumption, turn it off when it is not being used. These practices can all help reduce water waste in the kitchen.

Vocabulary Sheet


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Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). Neither the European Union nor EACEA can be held responsible for them.Project Number – 2022-1-NO01-KA220-ADU-000089795