WWF’s Savour Planet Makes a (Delicious) Point
When people think of supporting the World Wildlife Fund, a few usual things come to mind. Planting trees and supporting wildlife habitats rank among some of the most common activities. These are cool, and these acts greatly impact the cause of the Fund. However, the WWF is much more than about patching up the damage we humans did to the environment. It is also greatly involved in opening the eyes of the masses as to the various eco-friendly possibilities we may be overlooking.
Recently, the WWF has demonstrated yet again that being environment-friendly can creep into every aspect of living — even in the way we choose what to have for dinner! This was heavily emphasized when WWF brought their Savour Planet workshop to Tagaytay recently.
Meet your Sustainable Dinner
To us in the modern day, going sustainable is a progressive move. However, it’s actually just reverting to the natural state of things. In the olden days, our forebears ate food items that were readily found and replenished. There was no manufacturing, no sourcing — everything was completely sustainable. This is the idea that WWF seeks to bring back, especially now that there is a staggering amount of food waste around the world. Consider this — a third of all the food produced in the world are wasted, amounting to 1.3 billion tons of food a day.
In Metro Manila alone, the food shortage goes up to more than 2,000 tons of food a day. This is a number that grows over time, and this is something that sorely needs addressing.
Enter the Savour Planet Workshop.
This is the third edition of the Savour Planet Workshop, with the ultimate goal of allowing Filipino diners to experience food and eating in its most basic form. This doesn’t mean that food is raw and tasteless. On the contrary, it is a delicious and nutritious experience in cooperation with eco-friendly partners such as Nurture Wellness Village and The Healing Kitchen.
Tina was able to attend the first edition of the Savour Planet workshop, and she regaled us with stories of fun and learning. So when it was our turn to be invited, we obliged! The workshop seeks to both educate and entertain, and hosts various members of the academe, media, NGOs, and members of the food industry. This leg of the workshop is even made more special through the presence of delegates from various countries such France, Germany, Indonesia, and Thailand]
The concept of the sustainable diner that Savour Planet set up is to educate people about zero waste during the whole cooking process. Thus, the day began with micro-talks from the various partners and how they implement eco-friendly solutions and work processes in their own backyards. These were immediately followed by cooking demonstrations that served as the gist of the event.
“Recycling” food, the WWF way
The cooking demos weren’t the usual watch-and-learn fare. The participants of the event were grouped into 4 stations (those who knew each other were separated), which were complete with all the ingredients and equipment needed to cook. This allowed us to copy the chef’s demo (and even modify it somewhat), directly involving us in the creation of sustainable food!
We cooked a variety of dishes — bruschetta, roasted vegetables, pumpkin soup, tanguigue, and more. And while the ingredients were mostly made available, we were also given access to the Chef’s Garden to choose our own herbs. We ended up picking stevia from there. Sustainable cooking, after all, is all about using what’s around you as much as possible, instead of procuring lots of extras that in the end may turn out as waste. It’s a refreshing experience, and one that can be applied in real life. Imagine having your very own herb garden, where you could get fresh ingredients anytime. And while you’re at it, why not a mini vegetable garden, too? It won’t suit every lifestyle, but it’s something to be considered.
Getting the ingredients wasn’t the only place where sustainability could be practiced. We also used the peelings from all the ingredients to cook up the soup stock. Talk about recycling! During plating, I loved how everyone showed their creativity in presenting the food. I mean, I don’t even cook but I had a marvelous time! Even the international delegates of the WWF joined in this activity. It was an awesome team experience, and we had fun working with each other.
More Eco Stories
After lunch, we were treated to a behind-the-scenes tour of how WWF’s event partners carry out their eco-friendly ideologies. Nurture Wellness Village, for example, uses its biodegradable refuse as compost, to help grow their vegetables in their organic garden. They practice the “locavore” philosophy, where the food that they serve come from either their own gardens or the local community. In turn, the by-products of the business are used to benefit these same gardens.
Afterwards, we were treated to the Nurture Farmacy Tour, which enlightened us on the different indigenous plant species that could be used either as food ingredients or raised for medicinal purposes. True to the name, the plans we saw were chosen because of their ability to help us lead healthier lives.
In the end, the WWF event made a poignant point. Many of us may be eating to live, but it’s also important to think how our food choices impact our planet. This includes where we get our food, and what we do with it (including how we deal with food waste). The food industry is an indispensable part of society, but we could do a lot better than what we’re doing right now. Food, after all, is a precious primary resource and shouldn’t be made just to be wasted. There are millions upon millions of hungry people on the planet, and we can’t have a hope of feeding them — and of improving our future as a species — if we continue on our current track. As demonstrated in the Savour Planet event, the solution lies in a multi-faceted approach that involves each layer of the community, from the government and businesses to the everyday person.
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