Photo: Chef Simon Guthridge from The Mandarin Grill + Bar (left), Richard Ekkebus from The Landmark Mandarin Oriental Hotel (middle) and Heidi Yu Spurrell from Food Made Good HK (right)
The Captain’s Bar at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel hosted our Food Made Good Sustainability Breakfast this month – our final Monthly Meet-Up for the year, as members gathered to find ways we can take charge of the growing food waste challenge we are facing globally. Against a backdrop of the widespread global hunger and inadequate nutrition experienced by so many, our population still wastes about one third of the food we produce.
The entire food journey that brings food to our table, eats up valuable natural resources during the production process, including land, water and pristine rainforest, while further compounding the quantity of carbon emissions it generates as the food travels through processing and its elaborate global supply chain. This all adds up to make food systems a leading cause of carbon emissions and therefore a major contributor towards global warming. It also underlines why we waste so much more than just food when we throw out our leftovers.
Photo: Food Waste Bad Taste: Food Made Good Program & Food Made Good HK opening slides
Leanpath towards zero waste
The United Nations highlights the importance of using our resources wisely with a target objective to cut food waste by half by 2030 and Steven Finn jumped straight in to introduce the Leanpath tracking, measurement and behaviour change technology that makes food waste open and visible in the commercial kitchen. Leanpath provides a photographic food waste record together with sharp graphics to enable decision makers to drill down on problem food waste areas and stimulate behaviour change throughout the business. Since approximately a third of the 3,600 tonnes of food going to landfill everyday here in Hong Kong is caused by the catering industry, the benefit of preventative everyday practice to reduce food loss and waste would create a significant contribution to its reduction and is estimated to give back 2-6% of lost food purchases to the outlet.
Phenix by OnTheList Food Waste App
Anne-Claire Béraud went on to describe how we can all join the growing community at Phenix by OnTheList who last year used the brand app to successfully divert 40 million meals from landfill-globally. The app advantageously connects food and beverage industry outlets holding surplus edible food, with savvy consumers seeking to buy quality meals at discount prices typically on their way home from work.
Meanwhile Roanne Lo- from AquaGreen shared samples of the sustainable hydroponic fresh greens they supply to commercial clients within 24hours of harvest. Several varieties of lettuce and leaves are grown using a conscientious wetland system and without the use of pesticides and at just the right length, bite size to reduce trimming waste. Their baby crops are particularly less prone to oxidative browning and bruising to create a product with a longer shelf life.
Inspired by our framework, the programme is curated to inspire the community, in novel ways through which they can bring in small but significant changes to their sourcing choices, menu design and supplies. We will be organising talks delivered by sustainable food industry leaders, on various themes linked to UN International Days and our three pillars – Sourcing, Society and the Environment.