Would you eat cricket pizza?

I did, and I enjoyed it!

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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!

Eating sustainably is not too complicated

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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