The One Tonne Life project has ended and the content on this web page is static and is not updated any more. The project was unique and pioneering, making the conclusions and all information connected to the project just as interesting and up-to-date today as when it was run. Read more about the project and get inspired! (March 2017)

One Tonne Life

Tag: Christina Karlsson

Time for dry rations?

In bygone ages, spring was a time for living on dry rations. Early summer primeurs were not yet ready for harvest, at the same time as the potatoes stored in the earth cellar ahead of the winter months were running out. This isn’t something we often think about even though this was the reality for most people in Sweden a century ago.

Today we can buy all sorts of vegetables even during the winter months. In order to live climate-smart, however, you really need to go back to doing what your grandmother did – make up meals based on root vegetables and look forward to the seasonal premiere for crisp Swedish-cultivated delicacies such as asparagus and lettuce!

Here are some hot tips for smart food in the cool month of April:
• Root vegetables are as usual difficult to knock off their top spot. Why not make the parsnip soup shown in the photo above? Recipe
• Look in the supermarket’s freezer counter for interesting vegetable mixes and delicious berries
• Swedish bean sprouts and sunflower shoots add both colour and crisp texture to any meal!
• Cultivate your own watercress in your own window-box at home

Christina Karlsson, ICA

Protein and other essentials

In order to benefit the climate, we are often asked to eat more seasonal vegetables and reduce the amount of meat and dairy produce we consume. But how much meat do we really need?

The portions of meat we eat tend to get bigger and bigger as the years go by. Glossy magazines show us well-filled plates. What is more, many trendy diets suggest that we eat a lot of meat and reduce our carbohydrate intake. It’s easy to get confused. What should I eat?!

One of the reasons we eat meat is because it contains protein. In order for the body to function and for us to feel good, we need up to 80 grams of protein a day. (100 grams of meat contain about 20 grams of protein.) Protein is essential for building up the body’s cell structure, for the formation of hormones, enzymes and parts of our immune defence system. But we don’t need any exaggerated amounts of the stuff.

Protein is found in much of what we eat: meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, pulses and grain. In addition to protein, meat also contains a lot of iron so if we replace met with other sources of protein we have to think a little about what we eat instead. And that is where the smart pulses come into the picture! Pulses such as chickpeas and lentils contain both protein and iron. Vitamin C helps absorb the iron, so don’t forget that versatile favourite, coleslaw!

Alicja writes that she now serves chicken so that one fillet is sufficient for two people. She puts more emphasis on delicious vegetables and other ingredients such as pulses. The chicken becomes a means of adding extra flavour to the dish, it isn’t the basis of the meal itself. Good for your health, your economy and the climate!

Christina Karlsson, ICA

Results of the Week 12 Challenge – flavoured water

ICA challenged the family to come up with recipes for tasty yet climate-smart flavouring for water. Here are the suggestions the family submitted:

Alicja’s choice of flavour is mint (grown in her garden) and sea buckthorn along with a few drops of honey.

Jonathan’s favourite is lemon and raspberry.

Nils adds a dash of pomegranate to his jug of water.

Hannah adds flavouring from lemon and strawberries.

And of course we use frozen berries and frozen mint during the winter months.

ICA’s climate experts consulted with the experts at ICA’s sensory laboratory to blend and assess the various recipes. After evaluating appearance, bouquet, taste and overall impression, one winner was chosen.

The winner of this week’s challenge is Jonathan’s lemon and raspberry-flavoured water!

Jury statement: This competition entry is attractive to look at and has a well-rounded balance of both sweet and tart. Since both raspberry and lemon offer a lot of flavour, only a small amount of the two ingredients is needed. So in other words, the water is both tasty and climate-smart!

Thank you to everyone in the family for your tasty and creative competition entries!

Christina Karlsson, ICA

Christina Karlsson gives the family dietary advice

Christina Karlsson is one of the experts helping the Lindell family to eat right. She is a dietician and health expert at supermarket chain ICA, working together with chef Leif Grönlund to produce climate-smart yet healthy recipes. We had the chance of a chat just before she departed for Mora to distribute nuts and dried fruit to the exhausted cross-country Vasalopp skiers.

When the Lindell family were selected for One Tonne Life, you reviewed their diet so that the Chalmers University of Technology could calculate a base value for their food-related carbon emissions. How did you do that?
“I spent three days watching what the family ate, two weekdays and one Saturday. The data I acquired formed the baseline for the family’s carbon emissions. It turned out that they eat quite well, they do not need to make any major changes from the health viewpoint, although from the viewpoint of climate we’ll be teaching them a few things on the way. It’s all about small changes that are climate-smart but that also benefit them, for instance eating less saturated fat and more polyunsaturated fat. I noticed, for instance, that they always eat cheese in their sandwiches. If they replace cheese with mackerel they’ll be eating both more healthily and more climate-smart.”

How healthily does the average Swede eat?
“The average Swede eats far too much meat, far too few vegetables, and far too little Swedish produce. Both as regards climate and health. Swedes eat a lot of meat, more than 80 kg per person and year. Fish consumption is much lower.”

You recently wrote about meat in one entry on One Tonne Life. How problematic is meat really, from the climate perspective?
“It is largely about shifting from high meat consumption to a more moderate level, at the same time as we increase the proportion of pulses and vegetables we eat, preferably seasonal. We do not advise people to stop eating meat, but rather to think about what meat they are choosing. Meat from animals that chew the cud is at the very top of the climate-impact index. If we choose meat from these animals, we should consider buying meat from animals that fulfil multiple roles, for instance Swedish cows that are also milk producers.”

How about free-range meat?
“With free-range meat we are talking primarily about open fields and biodiversity. If we want to preserve our open landscape then this is the meat we should buy.”

Is it climate-smart to eat sweets?
“Sugar-beet cultivation is not actually such a bad thing, so long as it takes place in Sweden. Having said that, we’re not really built for shovelling the large quantities of sugar into our bodies that we are in the habit of doing. We simply don’t need their fast energy, which speeds us up and perhaps causes us to make poor decisions. I have a feeling that in the long run, what isn’t good for our bodies also isn’t climate-smart.”

Do you have any special tips you’d like to share?
“Buy frozen vegetables in the winter! We’re used to being able to buy fresh vegetables all the year round. That’s not particularly good for the climate. A lot is thrown away because we don’t cook it in time, and a red or green pepper that has been transported from overseas will have lost some of its nutritional value. Frozen vegetables are more nutritional and they are frozen while they are at their very best.”

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