Can you put together a healthy and sustainable tuckerbox?

Max items reached - remove an item to add another

What do you use as a tuckerbox?

Plastic bag

Plastic bag

That’s not a great choice.

It takes energy and resources to make single use plastics and many end up in the world’s oceans, harming animals such as birds, dolphins and turtles. We’ve found soft flexible plastics such as plastic bags and food packaging are the biggest threat to marine life.

We’re on a mission to reduce the amount of plastic waste entering the environment by 80 per cent by 2030.

Tackling plastic waste
Zip lock bag

Reusable zip lock bag

Not a bad choice.

Or even better, use a reusable container that lasts longer! Great to see that you’re a recycler.

Ending plastic waste
Bamboo lunch box

Lunch box made from wheat straw

Great choice.

Not only can this lunch box be used again and again but it will also break down naturally in the environment when it reaches the end of its life.

Biodegradable versus compostable – knowing your eco-plastics

What could you have for lunch in 2050?

Tortilla made with high-fibre wheat

A wheat with 10 times more resistant starch is being used to make wraps, tortillas and bread in the US. Hopefully it will be available soon in Australia.

find out about High-amylose wheat

Personalised muffin

This is a muffin with a difference. It has been freshly baked just for you by Rosie, your very own robotic chef. Rosie has worked out what vitamins and minerals you need to get you through the day because your smart toilet analysed your urine this morning and gave this information to Rosie.

3D printed dumpling

Last night, you programmed your 3D food printer that sits on the kitchen bench to make you a tasty dumpling that would be ready to pop into your tuckerbox before you left home. Today you’ve chosen one that’s lime green and in the shape of a frog. Looks weird but tastes great

Roasted crickets

High in protein, low in emissions, why wouldn’t you try one? We’re going to need a whole lot of different protein in the future to feed our growing population, and that includes sustainably grown meat, seafood, legumes and even insects.

Allergen free nuts

New genetic technologies will make it possible to produce varieties of nuts that don’t cause people with allergies to have a reaction. Peanut butter sandwiches are once again an option for school lunches.

Algae snack

Super healthy. Algae contain more calcium, protein, iron, vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants than any known fruit or vegetable. Algae can also be sustainably farmed in pools just like fish are.

Food grown on Mars

If we’re going to live on Mars, we’ll have to grow food there. We’ll need whole new types of food that can be farmed in a very different environment.

How to grow crops on Mars if we are to live on the red planet

Explanation of ratings


Each item for the tuckerbox has been given a rating for sustainability: high, medium or low. Note that the ratings include food production and processing but not packaging.

These ratings are based on recently published research by CSIRO scientists that uses a weighted environmental impact (EI) score. This EI score was developed to include climate footprint, water-scarcity footprint, and cropland-scarcity footprint.

EI scores were calculated for a large number of processed and unprocessed foods in the Australian food system (see Table S1 in the paper). Scores are between the value of -0.08 and +0.60.

For this tuckerbox, EI scores were log transformed to obtain a Normal distribution then divided into tertiles (3 equal groups) corresponding to 1, 2 and 3 star sustainability ratings.

For foods that were made up of more than one ingredient, we averaged the total of ingredients. i.e. sushi = rice + farmed fish; hummus = chickpea + lemon + garlic; dried fruit and nut mix = sultana + apricot + almond + other nuts; health shake = whole milk + processed vegetables.

The plant-based burger patty is based on the score for processed vegetables and salami is based on the score for processed pig meat.

Bradley G. Ridoutt, Danielle Baird, Gilly A. Hendrie, Diets within planetary boundaries: What is the potential of dietary change alone? Sustainable Production and Consumption, Volume 28, 2021, Pages 802-810, ISSN 2352-5509,


Each item for the tuckerbox has been given a rating for healthiness: high, medium or low.

The healthiness rating for the food and drink items in the tuckerbox have been attributed based on nutritional factors such as essential vitamins and minerals that our bodies need for good health, as well as energy density, salt, sugar and saturated fat. These attributes have been informed by the Australian Dietary Guidelines.

The Australian Dietary Guidelines provide advice on the types of foods and the amounts that we should be eating for good health and wellbeing. The Australian Dietary Guidelines are informed by scientific evidence and research and are updated on a regular basis