Where to from here?

This is the post where I share some of the best examples of sustainability initiatives around the world which are being activated through the World Wide Web.

  1. This UK Based organisation turns food waste into meals for those who are struggling. Feeding those who can’t afford to feed themselves while massively reducing waste. GO FoodCycle
  2. Feeding beautiful little Piggies with our food waste, I can’t think of a cuter way to reduce food waste.
  3. Again a British Company, taking Fruit that may not be 100% aesthetically perfect and turning it into delicious (vego-friendly) snacks. Two thumbs up from me!
  4. A company turning food waste into clean, green, recycled energy to power us through life.
  5. Encouraging businesses to go green and reduce, reuse and recycle is one of the hardest part of the sustainability movement. But this organisation does this, while clueing up consumers about which restaurants are putting in the hard yards and helping us choose where to spend our hard earned cash.

Hopefully NZ can start catching up with those businesses overseas who are trying their best to reduce food waste.

Featured Image of Pikelet and PattyCakes with their foster babies: sourced from metro.co.uk

Beans, Beans the Wonderful Fruit

Many meat eaters feel like they can’t go vegetarian or have a low-meat diet because they don’t feel they could get enough protein to take it’s place. This is so silly! There are so many great plant based protein sources like legumes and pulses. Legumes include soy, alfalfa, peanuts etc and pulses include dried seeds, lentils, split peas and dried beans. Both are great sources of fiber, pholate, potassium, iron and vitamins. They are low in fat and glycemic carbohydrates so keep you full for longer.

They are also great for the soil and essentially, the environment as a whole. Lentils etc have been labeled “Green Manure” by some as they literally add nitrogen to the soil. They are a great crop to grow sustainably as they replenish soil and can create crops which will go on to feed the bellies of many.

As a vegetarian, it is important to get used to legumes and pulses as they are amazing sources of protein and are super cheap.

Here is a recipe I use to make a delicious Lentil and Mushroom ragu.

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Lentil, Mushroom and Kale Ragu

1 Tbsp Coconut Oil (any kind of cooking oil)

One can/Two cups of cooked lentils (any kind but Du Poy add a nice texture)

6 med-large mushrooms

Half a red onion (Sliced or diced)

2 tsp of Garlic (or two fresh cloves)

3 Cups of Kale

1/2 Cup of wine (red or white)

1/8 Cup of chopped herbs (Thyme, Oregano, Sage)

1/2 Cup of full fat cream, sour cream or coconut cream/milk, creme fraiche (any kind of thickening, creamy ingredient)

A handful of any fresh greenery you need to get rid of (We used chopped up Brussel sprouts)

  1. Add oil, onion and garlic to pan. Cook for around 4 mins
  2. Add sliced mushroom, brown for around 5 mins
  3. Add herbs, kale and wine and cook down for around 10  mins
  4. Add cream and simmer for a further 10 mins
  5. Add cooked lentils, stir around until Lentils are heated through
  6. Serve with crusty bread, an egg cooked on top or just by itself.

All images courtesy of EC, creator of this blog

“Milk was a bad choice”

Especially when it comes to one of the most widely used milk alternatives; Almond Milk.

It is creamy, vegetarian, lactose and cholesterol free while being a nice wee dose of good fats. Unfortunately almond milk is one of the most unsustainable milk alternatives out there because we love the stuff so much and it’s actually thing to be wasting all the time, energy and resources on. Actual almonds have more nutrient benefits than the milk nut Almond milk still kicks all of the other plant based milks asses. It’s sales now total two thirds of the market for milk alternatives. Dairy holds ninety percent of the ‘milk market’, but there’s still hope as the consumption of cow’s milk is slooooowly going down. Don’t get me started with the Industrial scale Dairy business.

The production of almond milk is also very resource intensive. It takes 4.2 Litres of water to grown one, single almond.  Around 80% of the world’s almonds go towards making what is essentially almond water – so it doesn’t really make sense as a nutritional or sustainable approach to milk alternatives.

If you are looking for a milk alternative that’s tasty and is loaded with guilt-free nutrients then maybe stick to Coconut or to cut down your eco-footprint even more, give making your own nut or grain milk!

Green Waste

Composting is a great way to reduce waste and it’s a pretty easy habit to incorporate into your lifestyle, if you have the room. Composting basically takes any organic matter and over a period of weeks uses a chemical process to break down the material. Fungi and worms help too. This process provides nutrient dense humus to soil; which can often be depleted of phosphorous and, especially when over farming occurs. The compost acting as a natural fertiliser AND pesticide for soil and can be used as soil conditioner, to construct wetlands and as erosion control.

Committing to composting isn’t as hard as you may think. It involves an initial cost the of bucket purchase and a compost bin for your garden, but after that it’s smooth sailing. We just keep a bucket under the sink and chuck teabags, egg shells and essentially everything we don’t eat into it. You wouldn’t even know it was there. It feels pretty good to not throw green waste into the bin and if you have a green-thumb, you will reap double the benefits!