Going Green? Nick Loosley from Everybody Eats gave us a few top tips on how the food industry can be more sustainable.
Nick Loosley is the founder of Everybody Eats; a ‘pay as you feel’ charitable dining concept that uses surplus food to feed communities. Nick is a restaurateur by trade and has owned restaurants for 11 years and (whilst doing so) became aware of the problems in the food system. “Everybody Eats exists because we waste around one-third of the food we produce, but at the same time 1 in 6 people in New Zealand don't have enough to eat.” He says.
So, who are your sustainability role models?
Nicks first role model is well-known chef and author Dan Barber “He looks at food and food systems very carefully and champions products and systems that are more sustainable. He’s famous for his dish ‘rotation risotto’ where he creates a dish out of products from one farmers crop rotation over a year.” That sounds delicious and so clever to us! Secondly Nick admires Kokako and their commitment to sustainability - “Not only do they talk about the origin of their coffee; they also talk about the wellness of the people growing the coffee. They do it because they genuinely care.”
What can the food industry do to be more sustainable?
Whilst Nick believes the word ‘sustainability’ is over-used, he believes it’s crucial for the food industry to look at the full impact of food and its contribution towards unsustainability. He believes the food industry has to look at each food product and whether it’s realistic to continue harvesting it, in the way that we do. “We need to look at food, consider the inputs and look at the full environmental cost of something. An easy example is almonds, they take a lot of water to produce, we need to think about all that.”
“Sustainability is so broad” says Nick “The first thing a company can do is to choose what area they want to be more sustainable in and focus on that thing. For example, it might be protein quality. A restaurant could serve smaller portions of meat (120g instead of 180g) and they could deliver a more sustainable, more organic product.” Nick’s passion shines through as he goes on to explain that another obvious thing is to use the whole animal or the whole vegetable “For example broccoli stems are delicious, but many people don’t use them.”
Go back to basics
“Stop putting rubbish in the wrong place and start composting. Every restaurant should recycle and compost.” Nick tells us. “And think about where your energy comes from, we need to source renewable energy. Imagine if we all said we were only going to use wind and solar energy, that would have a huge impact on energy providers.”
Don’t forget about people
“Think about your people. How much does your business rely on a few key people pulling long hours? There’s a massive chef shortage in the country right now. We have to sustain our people as well.”
Safe Food Pro is a product that replaces paper, that’s contributing towards sustainability, right?
Nick laughs, “You need to do more than that. Safe Food Pro is really helpful, because it takes away a big scary thing (paperwork), and it allows people to spend more time doing the important things like looking after their people and customers.”
Thanks Nick, we love your work. To find out more about Everybody Eats or to donate, you’ll find them here https://everybodyeats.nz/
Congratulations to Nick for winning KIWIBANK NEW ZEALAND LOCAL HERO OF THE YEAR. Well deserved, you do an outstanding job for an amazing cause.
The team @ Safe Food Pro.