The Sustainable Food Co. places a huge emphasis on food sustainability. We contribute zero waste to landfill throughout our entire process, and we're proud of it. We really don't have a bin!
Our menu is specifically designed to ensure each and every one of our ingredients can be sourced, prepared and served using zero-waste, all while ensuring we meet the utmost standards in food safety.
How we do it:
~ 1 ~
Our ingredients need to be able to be bought from the supplier using zero packaging. We're a big fan of the BYO container principle; we take our reusable crates straight to the supplier, whether that be the farmer or the bakery, bring them back to our kitchen and reuse the same crate again next time.
For our dry goods we do the same thing, or alternatively we refill our containers at bulk bin stores (herbs and spices, flours). This simple trick hugely reduces our waste going to landfill.
We grow our own fresh herbs and get our produce mostly from farmers markets, with some from our supplier which is delivered in a reusable crate.
If we really can't source a product waste-free, we will make it ourselves or as a last resort we buy in bulk provided the packaging is either compostable or recyclable.
~ 2 ~
All of our food is cooked and prepared using zero packaging too. We use food grade silicon mats instead of waxed baking paper and tinfoil. We use reusable squeeze bottles instead of plastic bags to extrude our sauces and toppings.
We incorporate the entire part of the fruit/vegetable into our recipes to further reduce waste. When a certain fruit or vegetable is in season, we pickle it (for cheese boards), ferment it, jam it (for our peanut butter bites), or dehydrate it to preserve it throughout the year.
We make our own almond milk to save on bottles. We source our ice from a local restaurant so we don't have to buy it in plastic bags.
We make our own herbed crostini instead of buying packaged crackers. Our fresh produce is all NZ grown and we also buy NZ made equipment as much as possible for our kitchen to support local.
~ 3 ~
Our meals are presented, served and enjoyed at your event using all reusable tableware, cutlery, and glasses.
We use tableware made from bamboo and corn starch, and we provide freshly laundered reusable linen napkins.
We make our own iced teas and infused waters so we can offer clients an alternative to juice or soda in plastic bottles. We use loose leaf tea instead of tea bags. Our glass kombucha bottles are returned to our supplier where they are sanitised and reused.
Any leftover food scraps are composted and turned into nutrient dense organic material which is cycled back into the soil.
Why we do it:
There is a frightening amount of plastic packaging used throughout the food industry. Kiwis send 352,000 tonnes of packaging to our landfills each year.
And it's not only ending up in our landfills. 42% of items picked up on NZ's coastlines are food related items such as polystyrene containers, food wrappers, bottles, cans and glad wrap.
Over 120,000 tonnes of food waste is sent to landfills annually in NZ; the equivalent weight of 6x Sky Towers!
What's the deal with food waste?
When food waste ends up in our landfills it is forced to decompose anaerobically (without oxygen) and as a result it produces methane and other harmful greenhouse gas emissions.
The best option is to nail your portion sizes (we have!) so you don't end up with food waste. The second best option is to compost food waste, and by doing this the waste will decompose aerobically (with oxygen) and produces significantly less green house gasses.
An excellent community compost resource if you do or don't have your own compost bin is Share Waste NZ.
Our team is constantly working with suppliers and striving to challenge the way things are commonly done in the food industry. We will update this page as much as possible so anyone making food – whether it's just for yourself at home, or for a booming hospitality business – can play around with these ideas and we can all contribute towards a more sustainable food system.