In this period, exactly five years ago, people were queuing in Milan under the summer sun waiting to visit the big event of the year: Expo 2015. Since 2008, the year which Milan was chosen to host the International Exhibition, we were preparing for the most important event for our country, but also for the global community. At the end, despite everything, we can say Expo 2015 not only paved the way for tourism in Milan, but acted as a forerunner for a whole series of mechanisms related to food and eating habits. You will remember, in fact, that one of the key themes, treated in full in pavilion zero, was food waste. Inside the space that inaugurated the visit, clusters of fake food represented the foodstuffs wasted every year that could have defeated world hunger.
A long time has passed since then and, slowly, perhaps also thanks to Expo 2015, many chefs and restaurants have become spokesmen for this new and interested concept: sustainable and zero waste cuisine.
Two weeks ago, while talking with Marcello Scognamiglio, the topic had been discussed and Marcello himself was convinced that this way of cooking would spread quickly, along with organic, sustainable and healthy food. Furthermore, last year, for the Gala evening of the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, Tablo brought Igles Corelli and his crew from Chefs for Life to Asia and they prepared a delicious and completely zero waste dinner. We can no longer afford to create organic waste or eat unsafe food. Eating only what we like is not a "sustainable" privilege. Food consumption must be more conscious and ethical.
But what is the portrait of the sustainable chef? Certainly he is careful of choosing zero kilometre products, of avoiding CO2 emissions for the environment and the use of water. But those who understand the consequences that derive from certain choices, how they interface with the economic sphere and how they impact the environment, are also sustainable. These responsible choices are the basis of the "new sustainable art of cooking", sustainable gastronomy, as well as the ingredients of a training course for the future generation of chefs promoted by Alma, the Alta Scuola Internazionale di Cucina (editor's note: attended by Antimo Maria Merone) .
In addition, many brands are patenting sustainable materials for the kitchen such as the PaperStone® of Valgobbia knives and cutting boards, a material much more hygienic than wood created with overlapping layers of recycled paper and cardboard and impregnated with a resin obtained by squeezing the shells of the cashews.
What about at home? How can we act in this direction and eliminate, almost completely, waste? In this case, "programming" is the key word. We had already talked about it during the peak of Covid-19 infections: we have to decide what and how much to eat to avoid wasting. Let's refrain, therefore, from buying too much fruit and vegetables (which quickly deteriorates) if we are not sure of eating it and we try to store it correctly, with the right temperatures both for refrigerators and for cooking food. For example, steaming, a very popular method in Asia, will allow us to better preserve vitamins and minerals. Another painful note both in kitchens and in homes, is the disproportionate use of containers or plastic storage methods such as bags, films and other containers that can very well be replaced by vegetable materials, silicone or glass.
In short, if we really want to contribute to reducing waste and saving food and energy, we will have to start changing our daily habits and prefer, why not, also restaurants and concept stores that adopt this philosophy.
See you next time!