When we compare the beauty and elegance of a forest in its full, continuous regeneration process, leaving no trace of waste, with the ugly, dirty leakage inevitable in industrial processes, we wonder which of the two is the most evolved!Our food system is more in line with industrial processes than with a forest these days – nonetheless we can change this!
- How may we ensure access to food with integrity and in quality conditions and hygiene, without the use of packaging with single use plastic?
- How may we source all our foods locally so as to minimize long distance transport of foods?
- How may we ensure all the fresh foods actually reach us?
- Once fresh foods have entered our home, how can we keep them from going to waste?
- How may we ensure all the nutrients we can’t make use of (like the stems of vegetables, egg shells…) reach and enrich the soil that feeds us?
Closing the life cycle of food is a huge and urgent challenge to address!
Relevant Facts and Figures:
Did you know that the Fruta Feia (Ugly Fruit) project has prevent over two thousand tons of fruit and vegetables from ending up in the garbage, just because of appearance? This project helps 242 farmers to sell their “blemished” product to 5,934 customers nationwide.
WASTE IS A CURRENCY
A hotel in the Balearic Islands served exclusively organic food to their guests. They could however not source these foods on the island as there was not sufficient organic matter for the farmers to grow these foods.
The Hotel then established an agreement with the farmers, to exchange organic composting material (their food waste) for organic vegetables. This became an exchange that didn’t require money.
One of the most effective ways to help our liver to recover from the heavy task of constantly filtering and processing all the toxicity we ingest, is to do a 3 to 10 day juicing program. Juicing also gives our gut a rest as it minimizes fiber intake and the program includes probiotics to reestablish good balance or bacteria in the gut. One of the byproducts of juicing is all the fiber / bulk from the organic leaves and plants and roots used for the juices. Most of this bulk can be used as the core ingredient of tasty veggy burgers.
We can select the bulk we would like in our veggy burgers (from beetroot, carrot, spinach and other green leaves…) and mix it with eggs, spices, herbs, garlic, some coconut flour and psyllium husks, shallow fry them briefly in coconut oil, and the result is delicious!
IN TIMES OF CORONA CHEFS ARE GIVING BACK
2020 will go down in history as a year of crisis and we cannot yet grasp the direct and collateral effects of the CoVID-19 pandemic. What we already know for sure is that both the Food and the Tourism sectors have endured a sudden and violent test of resilience and social conscience. It is essential to express gratefulness to those who have embraced this moment as a possibility to serve their mastery as a mission.
With the onset of the pandemic, many restaurants and small organizations immediately started food delivery to frontline hospital workers and, as social media and networks began to communicate these initiatives, many possibilities opened up. The way this donation phenomenon started and how these small organizations engaged and became effective, may still prove strategically relevant for this sector in the future.
“Food for Heroes (PT)” is a platform built on the initiative of six restaurants in Lisbon that came together to voluntarily serve lunches and dinners to frontline health professionals. Any hospital can request support from Food for Heroes via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
In the Algarve, Chef Rui Silvestre launched another initiative “Food for Health” to help those who need it most. In Porto, several chefs are also preparing meals to deliver to those in need.
Take-away flourished and individual initiatives quickly became networks and resilience response platforms.
Chefs, hotel, restaurant owners and many individuals in this sector are collaborating to restore the sense of civic service, of caring, of hospitality – a word whose origins meant caring. This is truly a wonderful way of reinventing oneself in the crisis.
Recognizing that food touches everyone, food donation has become an unstoppable movement in these times of crisis. It is important we take this moment to grasp the possibilities this phenomenon opens for society and evaluate what role it may still retain in a future after the crisis.
GIVING BACK TO MOTHER EARTH
Maybe it is time to address how we produce the foods we eat – after all we are not at our healthiest, nor is the planet at its best! The food choices we make every day have a lasting impact on all aspects of our life and on the planet.
Access to information has allowed us to become more conscious of the impact of our food choices and also made us aware of the way the system is abusing nature and disrespecting our health – all these are collateral consequences are connected with the industrialization of food production.
Our foods are being produced in great quantities and far away from where they are consumed, we are stuck in a system where the natural cycles are broken.
Although the intention of producing foods in bigger quantities and therefore further away from their consumers, was to make them more accessible to more people (therefore quantity became the driver), the facts show us that the food reaching us in cities has less life, less nutrients and less light and that the soils where we produce our food are depleted of their natural nutrients and balance.
Although the intention of packaging food in single use plastic has been to protect the longevity of fresh foods and hygiene of food overall, the facts show us that single use plastics have become one of the biggest environmental challenges of our times.
Bringing food closer to where we live, learning so we may be involved in growing our own food, connecting to the natural cycle, including composting the raw food leftovers – these may help us access enough and good quality foods, while contributing to soil regeneration and therefore giving back to mother nature.