Have you ever thought how important it is keep your surroundings, be it place you live, celebrate, dine, or go to work eco-friendly and eco-conscious knowing about all the consciousness that the mother earth has been facing lately.
World Environment Day is celebrated on June 5 every year to highlight the dangers caused to our natural world and to urge people to protect it. Started in 1972, at the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, in Stockholm. The conference began on June 5 and continued till June 16 on why it is important to secure our natural fauna. This year, the conference is held tomorrow in Sweden with a theme ‘Only One Earth’.
The focus is always on ‘Farm to Fork’
“In the SAGA’s table menu, the food philosophy we talk about is EARTH - we encourage locally grown vegetables & herbs across most of the dishes in our menu. We try to integrate what’s grown in the season and make sure that it's fresh all the time,” shared Chef Kush Koli, Head Chef, SAGA Gurgaon that has made its name when it comes to serving the best of seasonal produce and fine ingredients on the menu.
With people knowing more about the source, origin of what they eat and consume, restaurants and chefs are focusing a lot on making them even more aware about the importance of these produce. Locally sourced raw materials, freshly grown veggies, fruits, ingredients that were brought down from Far East are now all sourced and grown in local markets making it easier for these restaurants and chefs to use it in the restaurant kitchen.
“OMO, only serves seasonally available, the best of organic produce across globe. The ingredients take birth from the palms of earth, capturing the essence and freshness of the land from the roots. We believe regional community driven harvest, inspired by our diverse roots, nurtures a palatable experience in a sustainable and organic way. Thereby, OMO empowers healthy living with high-quality seasonal produce and delivers the promise of being directly from "Farm to Fork", supporting mother nature, transcending a humble meal into an appetizing ordeal,” added Rajan sethi, Founder & Director Bright Hospitality Pvt. Ltd.
Why sustainability is important?
If you look at global waste most of the produce that the mother earth produces is being wasted and people haven’t realized it for so long. But lately, restaurants, chefs and environmentalists have come forward to talk about the importance of sustainability, local produce and local dining.
“Globally, we throw away about a third of all food that we produce. Connect the dots between valuing food and not wasting it. Use sustainable local produce and prepare it with pride. Protecting biodiversity, switching sourcing for as many ingredients to small local producers, should be our ultimate choice,” shared Chef Vaibhav Bhargava, Director of ABV Hospitalities private limited and Managing Partner CHO/ Delhi but pointing that sustainability is the new norm- even in food!
He also shared that at his restaurant CHÔ, the group aims at providing whole foods using the best quality ingredients and minimising wastage by making use of all parts of the fruits and vegetables. “Besides this, our aim is to create a healthy meal and in turn inculcate a healthy lifestyle by adding green vegetables to most of our dishes,” he added.
Packaging is the new buzz
We have seen that there is a sudden focus on packaging of raw materials. Not just government banning the use of plastic bottles, cutleries, straws but both consumer and new age companies and restaurants coming together to keep it more environment friendly and sustainable.
“Lush green fauna is now characteristic to all Roastery Coffee House cafés across the country. All the coffee waste generated is used as fertilizer for the plants in the cafes. We use only paper straws at Roastery. When you order Roastery home or order coffees in takeaway mugs, the packaging is completely eco-friendly. The boxes are made of bagasse, cutlery is made out of corn starch, takeaway cups are made of bagasse,” said Nishant Sinha, Founder, Roastery Coffee.
Adding to the same, Anshi Saxena, Director, Culture Development, The Cacao Artisans mentioned, “Amidst the flora and fauna, Colocal Chocolates’s corners are enveloped in lush greens. The single-origin chocolate process involves eleven meticulous steps from harvesting to packaging. One such step — winnowing includes the separation of cacao husk from cacao. To attain sustainable practices, we reuse our cacao husk in an eclectic way. From using it for our husk infused Colocal Sangria, to Cacao Tea to fertilisers for the plants in the cafes — we try to achieve the best possible. Also, when we talk about our deliveries — Colocal at home is an experience, the packaging is completely eco-friendly. The boxes are made of bagasse, cutlery is made out of corn starch, and takeaway cups are also made of bagasse. As a brand, we are taking baby steps every day and moving towards conscious living and making it a home away from home.”
Happy dining with plants
Not just your foods, interiors also play a big role in making your restaurant an eco-friendly dining destination. And, we have seen some of the top restaurants playing around plants, flowers in the interiors to make it livelier, close to the Mother Nature. Places like Saga in Gurgaon, FIO Cook House in Bar, Olive Bar & Kitchen across it all locations, OMO Café to name a few have planted greens that adds to a healthy and conscious dining scenario.
“Dining with the plants is an ancient tradition of therapeutic effect on humans. To elevate the effect of the hardscapes of the interiors of aesthetically chosen man made material, plants always play the impeccable role of softscaping! They add a thereputic dimension of calmness and coexistence with life... Natural Colours, foliage and diversity come in as a natural angle to the dining experience,” concluded Poornima Savargaonkar, Enriched Soil and Soul pvt ltd who has done Softscaping and Horticulture at restaurants like SAGA, Cafe Staywoke, PaPaYa Gurgaon.
She is also of the opinion that plants around us while dining is like a Food -to-food connection, one produces and the other consumes it! It is like a chef’s connection with his diners. The tangible effects of keeping plants in the dining area like flushing of oxygen, absorption of pollutants, and maintaining moisture in the air are any way known to us now.