World Environment Day: Delhi chefs are doing their bit to reduce waste. So can you!
Food is a consumer commodity that involves many energy-dependent channels. Be it water or solar energy that go into growing crops, or cold storage, supply chain logistics, cooking and serving — a dish leaves behind a big carbon footprint. Not to forget the fact that when food goes to waste, there is a lot at stake apart from millions starving around the world. So, as we celebrate World Environment Day on June 5, we look at how restaurants in Delhi are dealing with food wastage and switching to renewable sources of energy in their kitchens.
What are chefs in the Capital doing to curb this problem? Chef Sabyasachi Gorai of Lavaash, located in Mehrauli, says, “The food waste that goes out of the restaurant is bio-degradable. For burnt oil, we have a grease trap that filters it so that the grease doesn’t go into the city’s waters and sewage system. All my restaurants are fitted with sewage treatment plants. We are also working with less plastic bags. We are also particular about not using wood, and instead use clean fuel. Food-wise, we are buying local produce, and reduce carbon footprint. My restaurant has no imported ingredients.”
Chef Ritu Dalmia of Diva, Greater Kailash 2, says, “We have tied up with Feed India (NGO), that collects all our leftover food. All our packing material is sustainable. We have been using paper bags, and started separating plastic.”
Chef Nishant Choubey of The Roseate, which is on NH-8, says, “I am following the local and sustainable concept. Whatever is grown in India, closer to my place, and I buy it from the farmers, which results in less fuel consumption. We are also planning to cook using charcoal or a chulha for a day. No plastic as well; we would like to refrain from using plastic. This applies to the cookware and serving ware as well.” The chef requests consumers to order only as much as they want. “And in our kitchen, we don’t throw anything. Even prawn shells and vegetable peels are used in making things like stock,” says Choubey.
Chef Ajay of Pullman Aerocity makes his own compost for his vegetable farm. “Vegetable peels, fruit peels, egg shells or any other vegetable which is not fit for consumption is shifted to our organic waste composter and left there for 12 to 15 days where curing takes place. This is how we get our compost daily,” he shares.
Chef Ajay also uses empty jam and honey bottles to plant saplings in them. “We often gift them to guests dining at our restaurants,” he says.
At Taste of China, Connaught Place, chef Norbu turns vegetable and fruit peel into handmade soap. “I use a recipe shared by my grandmom. The natural soap is effective and has a mild fragrance due it use of herbs,” says the chef.
In the end, chefs urge consumers to limit the quantity of food while ordering and to practice sustainability at restaurants. “We should all practice sustainability. We should absolutely restrict things which are not available in this country in abundance,” says Choubey.
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