What it means to be a food producer
We have been receiving a warm welcome from every market we attended so far and we can't wait to attend more markets to come. Today, we wanted to talk about our mission behind our food business. Hope you learn something from our post, or can resonate with what we have to say!
When we were creating our business plan last year, we encountered somewhat disturbing and shocking data which we had to address as a problem our society is facing today. According to Upcycled Food Association, as of 2020, roughly 28% of agricultural land goes to produce food that is never eaten, and emissions from food waste account for 8% of total human-caused greenhouse gas emissions. A report from Boston Consulting Group found that the value of wasted food globally is about $1.2 trillion USD. The bright side of it is purchasing behaviours of consumers that support environmental causes are also on the rise. Of more importance to consumers in 2020 verses 2019 included food waste (36%) and buying products with environmentally-based packaging (18%).
Have you ever heard of upcycled foods? Upcycled Food Association defines it as "upcycled foods use ingredients that otherwise would not have gone to human consumption, are procured and produced using verifiable supply chains, and have a positive impact on the environment." Does this sound familiar to you? Even if you have never heard of it, the chance is that you might be already practicing it! How about making broth using vegetable scraps or bones? Have you bought "imperfect" produce at a farmer's market directly from farmers that is not "good enough" to be sold at a supermarket? Then, you are in! We use the leftover ingredients from making broth for our rice balls.
You might have been wondering where this is going (we hear you!). We have raised awareness for the food waste issue now but how can our food business help mitigate it? Needless to say, fermentation is practice of preservation which is inherited in almost all cultures in the world from generation to generation. It goes back to 12,000 years ago when our ancestors gradually shifted from hunting and gathering to farming which left them abundance of crops they couldn't consume before they rot. Fermentation gives a longer shelf-life to fresh produce and can also turn "imperfect" produce to something delicious and nutritious. It's a win-win situation for the ecology and our health.
We like to hear what you think and how we as a community collective can contribute to a better world we live in!