Would you eat cricket pizza?

I did, and I enjoyed it!

Fil 000.jpegFil 000 (1).jpegFil 007.jpeg

Last week, I attended an event by the Aalto Sustainable business club called Into the foodture with my friend Sofia.

We were both quite keen on trying the cricket pizza there. I’ll admit, there was that 3 seconds of looking at the crickets being like “am I really going to eat that?” but then you just put it in your mouth and it tasted fine. It’s possible to quite easily overcome a certain “ew” factor by just deciding to give it a go and eat it! It was really nice going together with Sofia since we’re interested in quite the same things, friends who fearlessly try new foods such as crickets are good to have. Crickets on pizza are not very crispy but still a bit crunchy and chunky. Quite a good piece, something to bite in but not too hard. They don’t taste much in themselves and taste even less than for example chicken. All in all, I think crickets go quite well on pizza but I think I prefer them as a crispy, salty snack. I’ve tried that once before, and I can’t wait until you can start buying roasted crickets as a healthy snack at the supermarket.

I’m usually a pesco-vegetarian but for some reason I don’t really see crickets as meat. I eat fish, so I’m definitely not going to feel bad over eating crickets. Crickets are frozen to death which isn’t supposed to hurt them so makes them even more ethical to eat than fish.  Food is the one thing that has the greatest environmental footprint. The poisonous blue green algae in our sea in the summer, the rate of species dying out, deforestation, pollution of drinking water and climate change are all related to our food production. Sustainable food production will also potentially end hunger crises in the world and is socially really important too.

The event was about how the food sector can be innovative and become more sustainable. Four companies were featured at the event. The cricket farm EntoCube who tries to make people realise there can be alternative sources of animal protein! Right now, the law in Finland doesn’t allow for crickets to be advertised as food, which is silly. But I hope that changes soon. Another great company featured was Helsieni who does urban farming of mushrooms. The mushrooms get their nutrients from biowaste, such as coffeegrounds that is produced in cities. It’s just a great way to reduce transportation and get more fresh food! In general, I really like the idea of urban farming. I don’t think we’re ever going to grow all food in urban areas, that’s impossible. But I think it would be possible to grow all fresh ingredients very locally and reduce transportation and use of land. Then more of the countryside can be nature reservats to preserve biodiversity! Also, by promoting people to eat mushrooms instead of meat the overall environmental footprint of the food is reduced.

Two companies trying to decrease food waste and surplus food being wasted was also there: ResQ Club and From Waste to Taste who runs the surplus food restaurant Loop in Helsinki. I’ve used ResQ club but I realised many restaurants didn’t sell surplus food via the app, but just saw it as a possibility to sell more food in general. So, I started doubting whether I’m actually rescuing any food. Also, everything I bought via the app came in plastic packaging so I got tired of having to recycle so much plastic all the time. But they’re developing the app constantly so maybe I’ll start using it again one day! You get good cheap food via it for sure.

So Loop seems like the greatest idea ever: a restaurant with a different menu everyday, depending on what food has been in oversupply in the local supermarkets! Just to make clear, they do not serve foodwaste in the sense that it would be old food: just food that would go bad in the next couple of days and is unlikely to be sold at the supermarket. The menu looks great, I think I’ll go eat at the restaurant and update the blog about it in a fes weeks!

Hugs and kisses! /Felicia

Ps. I’m sorry I haven’t been updating the blog frequently. I’m writing my bachelor’s thesis and that’s so time-consuming. I’ll be back full-time by mid-May, hope to have you still frequently checking in then!

I saved 10000 liters of water by upcycling old bedsheets

Paslakan1Paslakan2Paslakan3Paslakan4File_000File_003

We talk about reusing and recycling clothes all the time, but bedsheets use a lot of fabric too! I needed a new duvet cover, and I realised how much fabric (a.k.a. natural resources) that actually takes to make. I couldn’t find any secondhand duvet covers that would fit a double sized duvet. Selling your old sheets doesn’t seem to be a thing! Instead, I went to my parents and asked them for some old sheets they do not use anymore. Believe me, people tend to have stuff accumulating over the years at a crazy rate so they had quite a few odd ones to spare! No double sized ones were to be found so I took two single sized ones and made a new cover out of them. Both of them were at least 20 years old, but still of very good quality.

Two old sheets, scissors, a few needles, thread and my grandmothers sewing machine. Voila, it took about 3 hours in total. A new double sized duvet cover would have cost at least 50 euro. This cost me absolutely nothing and I love how it ended up looking! About 2000 liters of water are used for producing a cotton t-shirt, so for producing a duvet cover made from cotton, it would take approximately 10000 liters of fresh water. I really managed to save a lot of natural resources by reusing the textiles for a new duvet cover!

The double sized duvet I got was unfortunately brand new and I don’t really know its environmental footprint.  But I really like my new duvet so I guess it’s worth the environmental price. I did check online for a secondhand big duvet but when I could not find one I bought a new one. A lot of people would find the thought of a secondhand duvet a bit disgusting. I would not mind using a secondhand one, I would just have it properly washed at the dry-cleaner. When I lived in England, I had a secondhand duvet. It turned out to be quite difficult to sell when I moved away! Secondhand duvets are just fine if they’re only a couple of years old, I wish more people realised that used stuff isn’t un-fresh at all.

I gave my old duvet to a beggar, who said her child was freezing and she wanted money to buy one. I did not do it because I’m a particularly good person, I merely thought that this would be a good excuse to buy a new duvet since I wanted a big two-person duvet instead. However, I do hope that she got some use of the duvet. Since I sincerely cared about her family’s wellbeing, and not only about getting rid of my duvet, I did buy her some groceries as well.

I am going to sound harsh here but it’s the truth: Don’t ever think that you are doing the world a favour when you donate bad quality clothes to secondhand shops. Working for a secondhand fashion company (secco.fi), I have become even more aware of how much clothes of really bad quality people have bought. It is really, really difficult to recycle a H&M t-shirt with a hole in it. With good quality fabrics, you can reuse it as a textile and sew a new piece of clothing out of it. Please, dear readers, start checking for the quality of all the textiles you buy. I am writing all this to remind you, that even though recycling projects like this one with my bedsheets, really DO save a lot of natural resources: the only reason I could do it in the first place was because I had quality sheets to work with. It would have been really difficult to sew something from a bad quality fabric.

Eating sustainably is not too complicated

_20170204_190323.JPG_20170204_190759.jpg_20170204_190503.JPG

Eating sustainably can be delicious, beautiful and simple. Last week me and my friend Malin cooked a modified version of this Baked Aubergine with beluga lentils recipe from Green Kitchen Stories. I’m not too fond of brussel sprouts so I left those out from the recipe and added pepper and field beans instead.

It’s a myth that it is difficult to know how to eat more sustainably. Yes, if you look at minor details like knowing whether a Spanish tomato or a Finnish greenhouse-grown tomato in February is better, then I understand it might feel a bit complicated. The thing is: that’s splitting hairs. If you have time, by all means, it’s good to do research, but these choices aren’t the most important ones. If you follow these simple rules, the impact you food has on our environment is already much better!

  1. Avoid all red meat
  2. Eat less dairy products
  3. Eat less rice & less imported quinoa
  4. Eat less avocado
  5. Eat mostly local and seasonal vegetables and grains

These are very simple rules, no one needs to study a lot to make a huge impact on the environment globally by choosing not to eat certain kinds of food. Also, remember that the option with less plastic packaging is always better! For vegetables and fruit, you can get a reusable bag like this one. In the end, it does not matter if people occasionally buy the “wrong kind of tomato” as long as we look at the big picture and at the foods that really have a big impact. I managed to follow the “Vegan January” challenge and ate (mostly) vegan for a full month and only slipped twice! It actually wasn’t too difficult. So if eating vegan isn’t very difficult, then avoiding those listed things at least 6 out of 7 days a week shouldn’t be impossible for anyone. Personally, now that my one month challenge is over, I do still eat small amounts of cheese as well as avocado and rice. But only on special occasions when I’m at a restaurant or someone else treats me to food ,which is rarely more than once or twice a month.

A short reminder to why everyone should avoid the listed things…The meat industry pollutes a lot. The Baltic sea, many lakes and rivers in several countries are in such bad condition because of the meat industry. Cows consume a lot of natural resources, so cut down on your consumption of cheese, yoghurt and milk. Get oat, coconut or soy alternatives instead. Cows also produce methane. Rice is extremely water intensive and fresh water is scarce in many places, additionally rice cultivation produces methane which is even worse for the climate than CO2. Save the sushi for special occasions! Avocado plantations often lead to deforestation and acute drought. The avocado requires a lot of water, and when that water is taken from lakes and rivers nearby, they dry out. Avocados also rot really easily. 54,000 tonnes of avocado and other stone fruits are thrown away every year in the UK!! The less we buy, the less will in the end be imported and thrown away. 54 000 tonnes!!

What to eat then? Green Kitchen stories really has amazing vegetarian recipes. Vegetables grown in your own country get amazing tastes with these recipes. Just stay away from the recipes containing too much cheese, avocado or rice or replace those ingredients with something else. There are environmentally “unfriendly” foods such as quinoa, that are grown organically in Europe too so you don’t need to stop eating it, just choose the right kind.

ps. between November and February/Mars, the Spanish tomato is actually more environmentally friendly, during the rest of the year, buy the locally grown version. In northern Europe: Canned tomatoes are the most sustainable during the winter! But don’t worry about that too much if it feels too complicated 🙂

Bon appetit!

xo, Felicia

Celebrating both Friday and World Environment Day

The World Environment Day is celebrated today. However, I think there will be more people just celebrating it’s Friday 😀 Friday is nice, but the first mentioned should not be forgotten. So therefore I thought of an easy way to combine these two: by drinking a sip or two of eco-friendly wine!

Winey

I love how the summer is finally coming to Finland. Here I’m enjoying Greener Planet-wine and the sun!

Go for organic wine. It’s better both for your health (well as healthy as wine drinking ever gets) and for the environment. A Swedish study suggested that we get quite a lot of pesticides from even smaller amounts of wine. When it comes to the bottle: Lighter PET-bottles and bag-in-boxes are more environmentally friendly because they are lighter, which means lighter transports. Glass really is better at preserving wine and glass can be recycled eternal times, but it requires a lot of energy to melt the glass to make new bottles. So if you want to minimize your CO2 footprint as much as you can, go for the bag-in-box. When it comes to PET plastic and the cardboard of the bag-in-boxes they can also be recycled as material about 10 times, so make sure to do it! In Finland you can just bring the bag-in-box back to Alko.

wedlogo

If you are not going to drink wine at all tonight it’s probably even better for the environment and your health. The theme of the World Environment Day 2015 is “consume with care”. So think twice before you buy something today! You can read more about WED here and watch the teaser video here. It’s a good reminder that we shouldn’t destroy the lives of other species.