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The environment-friendly or ’green’ adjectives are used with laws, products, service providers and customs that exert the smallest possible impact on the environment, pollute and harm it to the smallest degree. These products, services and companies are marked with a label. Within the territory of the European Union, the Ecolabel serves this purpose, but several other countries have their own signs. For example, in Denmark, Norway, Iceland and Sweden the “Northern Swan”, in Germany the “Blue Angel” and in Hungary the “Environment-friendly Product” signs are used.
The world of restaurants and the food industry are two of the most wasteful industries. The sowing, harvest and later the distribution and consumption processes require a lot of energy, time and space and produce a lot of rubbish. Gastronomy becomes environment-friendly if the whole process between the production and waste production is done attentively and it is consciously made sustainable.
British master chef Arthur Potts Dawson places primary importance on minimalizing waste. Whatever can be – food, water, space, energy, rubbish – should be recycled. He operates two restaurants in England that are based on these principles. One of them is the Acorn House that runs on wind energy and the other one is the Waterhouse that runs on water energy. Everything was designed to run smoothly even though as little energy and space is used and as little rubbish is produced as possible. Guests do not receive a set amount of food, but can decide how much they would like to or are able to eat. If there is still some leftover, it ends up in the compost.
Be vegetarian! – we could simply say, although researchers have proven that meat substitutes (soya, lentil, and chickpea) harm nature more than meat. Since the majority of these products are transported to Hungary from far-away countries, they cause more harm than what the consumption of the meat of animals from the country is responsible for. In spite of this, it is also true that the consumption of red and white meat is responsible for the greenhouse effect. The Responsible Gastrohero’s initiative tries to call attention to this fact.
The Responsible Gastrohero blog was started to find and introduce environment-friendly restaurants. This has made them so popular that already in their first year they won the Green Award of Ozone for “creating the most innovative climate-friendly and environment-conscious food consumption supportive educational concept”. The team has set as its goal to gather 500 enterprising people who will only eat meat 4 days a week for a month. With this number and plan, the undertaking would mean the sparing of 1000kg meat. The programme is still looking for participants here and you can find further information on the website of the Gastrohero’s Facebook page.
Translated by Judit Molnár