The occupation of being a chef has been around for hundreds of years but has only become a more renowned and accepted profession in recent years, gaining considerably more respect. But this new-found recognition comes with great responsibilities, not only to clients and staff, but to food and the food industry itself. So what does it mean to be an ethical foodie, and what does that have to do with you?
By Taryn Wilson
Where a chef chooses to source their produce and supplies will determine quality, quantity and ultimately the status of a restaurant. As we know from cooking at home, quality can become more costly, affecting business, and this is where the tough decisions begin.
When you eat out, it’s important that you choose a restaurant that makes you aware of the kinds of foods you will be consuming, making sure it falls within basic restaurant and food guidelines.
Chefs should be responsible for using sustainable options, whether it means supporting local farmers and businesses or larger environmentally-aware corporate agricultural businesses. What a restaurateur chooses will have a different impact on the prices that you pay for food. It is up to you to do your research and make sure you are eating out at establishments that provide the best environmental impact for your own budget.
Supporting local businesses creates more opportunities for the economy to grow, and a majority of our home-grown produce is of amazing quality (after all, we do ship plenty of it overseas).
COOKING AT HOME
Being an ethical food enthusiast relates as much to professional chefs as it does to cooking in your own kitchen. Everything we do impacts the planet, so we have put together some food-wise tips to take home to your own kitchen.
1. Try to source food from organic supermarkets or fresh food markets. You could even make it a fun weekend habit for the whole family.
2. Use sustainable cooking options such as solar panels to run your kitchen equipment. Start out with one or two appliances as this can be expensive at first, but will save you on your electricity bill in the long run.
3. Eat less meat. Vegetarian diets are affordable and sustainable, but don’t worry, we’re not saying you should stop eating meat completely. Processing and packaging red meat requires large amounts of water, so save that steak or lamb roast for a special occasion or when you want to treat yourself.
4. Create your own compost with leftover veggie and fruit waste. You can start by purchasing a kitchen compost pail (for inside) and food bucket (for outside). Move old food from the pail to the outside bucket once the pail is full. Dig it into your garden and reap the beautiful rewards!
Being an ethical foodie basically boils down to your own conscience and having a desire to create a better space, whether it be in your home or your work, or both. While the reasoning for becoming more sustainable may differ, it shouldn’t impact the efforts to get there.