Category Archives: Food Sustainability

A sustainable christmas meal

Christmas songs on the radio, shopping windows transformed into Christmas looks and you have already put the Christmas tree in your living room. Up next the dinner you have to prepare for your family and friends. How can you serve a meal, which is less harmful for the environment? The amounts of miles that a typical Christmas meal travels before it ends up on your plate can easily add up to 49,000 miles. However a green Christmas meal is possible!! Interested? Take a look at the tips below.

turkey-xmas460

1)   Buy local

Visit a farmers store, or a farmers market and collect your products there. These are more sustainable and probably only traveled for a couple of miles.

2)   Buy seasonal

A lot of products are not available in the winter, at least not from your own country. All of these products are imported from around the world. Imagine what carbon footprint they must have left behind, so not really environmental friendly right? Take a look at seasonal products. I am pretty sure you can make a fantastic meal with those products.

3)   Go organic

If you are against the intensive farming, then especially pay attention to this point. Food that has been produced organically less harmful pesticides have been used and this is of course a lot better for the environment. And a organic turkey did not have to suffer from the intensive farming.

4)   Go veggie

Are you still a bit sad about the turkey? Even though it comes from an organic farm. Then think about a vegetarian Christmas meal. With some good recipes and innovative thinking I bet you can surprise your entire family.

5)   Watch your waste

And last but not least watch your waste. And this does not start with the things you throw away, but already on your shopping list. Do you really need everything? Don’t you think you have way too much? Think critically and you will have to waste less food.

If we all took the above-mentioned points into consideration, even the smallest bits help. We can have another feeling as just fed up with all the food, but at least you have done something good for the environment this Christmas. Isn’t that what Christmas is about amongst other things, to take care of one another?

and as we would say in the Netherlands: EET SMAKELIJK!

Nicole

Every student’s dream: Mould-free bread for 60 days

Don’t we all recognize the problem of buying bread and not being able to finish it before it gets mouldy?  As a student, I have this problem pretty often. The only solution is to keep it in the freezer and defrost a slice per time you need one. But what if your bread can stay mould-free for 60 days?! Isn’t that every student’s and single’s dream? Apart from saving money and not having to frost and defrost your bread everyday, mould-free bread would be the perfect solution  to a big part of customers’ food waste as 32% of loaves purchased in the UK thrown out as waste when they could be eaten, according to figures from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs McGrath, M. (2012). Does this solution sound unrealistic to you? American company Microzap doesn’t think so.

Zapping the bread in a sophisticated microwave should do the trick. The company claims it could also be applied to turkey, vegetables and fruits. The laboratory is based on the campus of Texas Tech University in Lubbock. The machine that kills the mould spores has raised interest by many bread manufacturers, however the popularity among the average customer might be disappointing  It is expected that treating the loaves with this machine will increase the costs of bread and at the end of the day, it’s all about the money. Especially in regards to the average customer.

Chief executive Don Stull mentioned another worry, which is that customers might be hesitant with buying bread that will last for 60 days. “We’ll have to get some consumer acceptance of that,” he said. “Most people do it by feel and if you still have that quality feel they probably will accept it.”(Stull, D. 2012. cited by McGrath M.). A picture of the magical machine can be found in the slideshow below.

_64477956_img_4839Easter_Breaddiscarded-fresh-bread-006broodschimmel

Sources: fantom-xp, BBC &  dwotd

What do you think? Would you buy bread treated in a laboratory that will last for 60 days?

Source information, citations and picture: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-20540758 

Madelon

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Eating insects: The most sustainable and healthy option?!

Eating ecologically, eating sustainably, eating healthy… Sometimes you just don’t know what you’re  allowed to eat these days. I would like to discuss a combination of all three,  which The Guardian considers to be the food of the future: Insects.

During our fieldtrip to exhibition “De Etende Mens” in Eindhoven, The Netherlands we already got familiar with this matter as a part of the exhibition was devoted to future foods and insects. We were all a bit sceptical about the idea as we couldn’t imagine ourselves eating grasshoppers and maggots, but maybe we just need to get used it? I couldn’t help but thinking of Disney’s Lion King, when ‘Simba’ adapts to his new friends and forces himself to eat insects and after that actually quite likes them… Maybe we all need a Lion King-moment to get used to something new?

As you may know, eating insects isn’t that strange in countries such as Thailand where fried spiders and centipedes are available on local markets and restaurants. A very sustainable and healthy  choice, since insects can be multiplied easily, only a minimum of space and resources are needed and has a very low carbon emission. Furthermore most insects contain 40 to 70% protein, which is much more than e.g. sweet corn with only 10%. So why are we not eating it then? One of the reasons might be that insects are not that common in e.g. Europe, since at least 24% of all eatable insects live in Asia, 38% in Africa and only 2% in Europe (Duurzaaminsecteneten, 2012).

I must admit that I don’t think that I will be eating insects in the near future and I’m not expecting you to do so (unless you’re from one of those countries where it’s part of daily life of course!), however maybe we should try to get used to the idea and not creep out when hearing about it or seeing it? Therefore, I included a few pictures of the exhibition ‘De Etende Mens’ and other pictures of eatable insects for you so you can see and decide for yourself what you think! I also included a few pictures of the insect scene from the Lion King, to remind you of that scene in case it didn’t ring a bell just yet!

 

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Sources pictures: Walt Disney & The Guardian (2012)

Click here for a list list of eatable insects.

Enjoy!

Madelon

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Play with your food!

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We have already written a lot about food and visual arts. Even about the two combined already. But what about visual arts that is made of food? There are a lot of exhibitions and arts works in which artists use food as one or more materials. I came across some while searching on the internet and I find if quite interesting to see. Especially since there is a story behind it. Yes true, this is at almost every art work, but still it seems somewhat more interesting when food is involved to me.

These artists has taken their creativity to a yummy level!

There are even paintings that where all the materials used are made of food products. So has Carl Warner, a photographer based in London, made a so called foodscapes: landscapes made of food. In the picture below, a pea pod boat sails away from a land made of bread and potatoes, over a sea of salmon. Funny huh?!

Some artists are only using them since they do not see the point of wasting it. Which brings them back to our project. Others are doing it because they want to stand out from the crowd. The artists Zoe Leonard made ‘untitled’ are pieces, in which she ate the food products but only left the skin and used this skin to make an art work of it. Everybody is throwing them away, since it is not normal to eat, but she is showing them in another light.

“I was tired of wasting things, throwing things out all the time,” she says, as quoted in the sign listed next to her piece.

So do not listen to your mother and play with your food!

X Kim

Social Innovation Sessions with Network Opportunity

In the course of this project we have created a sort of scheme on how to bring the two worlds of visual culture and food together and came up with the idea of a creative workshop and network session. The workshops will take place next week and we have still spots available for the sessions on Thursday. If you would like to participate or know someone that would like to come, just sent us an email to bridge.researchagency@gmail.com.

The content of these sessions will be in Dutch. Here you can find the flyer and the program:

programma-22-november

Tomorrows blog will focus on the content and set up of the workshops, but if you have any questions before hand don’t hesitate to contact us.

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Farming 3.0

Have you ever wondered what a rooftop farm looks like? In our last post we had already discussed the trend of rooftop farming and the developments in that area. Today I would like to present you a little project that I thought was very interesting and inspiring to me, the Eagle Street Rooftop farm in New York City.

The farm is located on a factory roof next to the East River in Brooklyn with a nice view over the skyline of Manhatten and comprises 6.000 square feet, which is about 1.8 square kilomters. As part of it’s program during growing season organic produce can be bought at an on site farmers market and members of the organization deliver their produce by bike to participating restaurants. The  Eagle Street Rooftop Farm offers a volunteer program and apprenticeships and internships for students and everyone who is interested, futhermore they try to educate people about food with their farm classes.

Listen to Annie Novak, co-founder of the project talk about the Rooftop Farm and the importance of urban farming:

If you would like to get more insight, check out the website here.

This example got me thinking whether I know of any rooftop farms, but I couldn’t come up with any. Do you have cool examples of urban farming?

SH

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Where does your food come from?

Everybody knows that food is produced on farms and while driving through the countryside everybody has seen the vegetables on the land, but have you ever imagined that those are usually not the products you buy in the supermarket. That the products you buy often are imported from the other side of the world?

The products that you see above: Milk, sugar, asparagus, cucumber, apple and pepper have travelled for about 35.000km to end up in your shopping cart.

One reason for this is that the products from Peru, Argentina or other countries are simply cheaper than the ones produced in the Netherlands or Europe. But that is not the only reason. The Netherlands is a crowded country and simply is not big enough to produce food for the entire population. Therefore people are becoming quite inventive.

Vertical gardens, roof gardens, community farming? Have you heard about these terms before? These are all new ways of farming and using spaces such as the roofs and sides of a building. You can even start farming on your own balcony.

Next to that instead of a playground in the neighborhood, you see more and more community gardens where the neighborhood grows its own vegetables.

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All of this is becoming more of a trend. People are more aware of biological food, the impact it has on the environment to import these products.

So just a tip! Grow some tomatoes on your balcony and contribute to the scarcity of food! Not convinced yet? It will also save you money!

Nicole

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The Food Recovery Network

The past weeks I have been busy looking into inspiring projects and best practices for our project. During my search online I came across a project initiated by students that I found very inspiring. The dedication of the students and volunteers involved is heartwarming and therefore I decided to present it in todays post.

Basically the Food Recovery Network (FRN) is a project initiated by students of the University of Maryland in the United States. It is their mission to prevent food waste by collecting leftover food from college cafeterias and events and providing it to churches, homeless shelters and people in need. The initiative is completely run and initiated by volunteer students investing a vast amount of time in changing the world a little bit by creating social innovation. In my oppinion by supporting homeless people and other food banks and offering this service for free the students at the FRN have tackled one major problem in the food sector. By doing our research in the field it became obvious quite fast that food waste is a major issue. Several different projects have been launched all over the world, but I find this particular initiative very inspiring because it is lead by students that believe in something, have social courage and want to help changing things, a trait that is unfortunately rarely found in todays world.

Initiated by students at the University of Maryland in very short time the project has spread out all over the United States and been picked up by students at different colleges following one major aim, preventing food waste and feeding everyone in need. The fact that this project spread fast and the focus on sustainability shows that there is a critical need and primarly also interest by other people which helped the Food Recovery Network to gain attention during the past year. On their website the students invite off campus businesses to participate by explaining them the benefits of donating food leftovers and offering help for pickup and delivery of the food.

Here are two videos about the Food Recovery Network which are definitely worth checking out and you should also visit their website http://www.foodrecoverynetwork.org/

7 min coverage

Promotional Video


I hope you’ll be as inspired as I was. Enjoy! SH

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Am I a sustainable eater?

We have discussed several problems that we are facing in this industry including food waste and hunger. We all know the saying a better world starts with yourself, so I wanted to see how much of a sustainable eater I am and see where there is still room for improvement. After some research, I came across a quiz from National Geographic; the ‘Green Guide Sustainable Food Quiz’. – Sounded good to me!

I’m going to change my plastic containers for storing my cheese for some glass ones. Want to know why? Take the quiz for yourself and learn how you can become more sustainable. Click here

Numerous people assume that eating healthy and sustainable goes together with spending more money, which does not have to be true! Sustainable eating on a budget – sounds like music to my student ears!

According to ecospree these are some tips to keep in mind;

  1. Limit processed foods
  2. Eat seasonal food
  3. Eat Locally
  4. Make your own
  5. Buy in bulk
  6. Grow your own food
  7. Eat out less
  8. Eat less meat
  9. Eat ‘ugly’ fruit and veggies

Do you have other tips on how to eat more sustainable and at the same time watch your spending? Please share!

Yvonne.

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How to save the world by changing your diet

Today I would like to focus on food, on Veganism and Vegetarianism to be specific. There are many advantages and reasons for Vegansim and Vegetarianism that have convinced me years ago to change my diet, one of them is sustainability.

As some of you might know, the food consume of the human race is at it’s peak. Different studies have shown, that if we keep on consuming in this scale, by 2050 the amount of two more planets will be needed to feed everyone. As you can see: a big dilemma, unless we discover those two planets within the next 38 years.

Luckily, today Bridge was presented with the solution to this problem: The Dutch Weed Burger. A plant based burger with a very unconventional main ingredient: seaweed. This is what it looks like:

The Dutch Weed Burger

This short video is a trailer about the making of The Dutch Weed Burger and it’s two inventors:

You might wonder now: who are these two crazy Dutch people and how did you find them?

To “celebrate” the Dutch sustainability day, Lisette Kreischer, known for Veggie in Pumps and several cook books and her partner in crime, the film maker Mark Kulsdom, presented the concept of  their new veggie burger. The presentation was inspiring, entertaining and informative and actually convinced the non Vegetarian members of Bridge to try out this mysterious super burger. Conclusion: DELICIOUS!

The Bridge members enjoying The Dutch Weed Burger

If you would like to know more about  The Dutch Weed Burger or Lisette Kreischer you should check out these links:

www.dutchweedburger.com

www.lisettekreischer.com

Mark and Lisette are currently on tour through the Netherlands to promote, explain and illustrate the importance of sustainability in food and the advantages of vegetarianism and plant based diets. If you get the possibility you should try to see them, taste their burger and get inspired. Enjoy! SH

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