Culinary, the term critically focuses on cooking or relating to the food system. The eco-culinary concept being approached has been foremost in the present context since people are hugely focused on saving nature and the environment.

In general, the eco-culinary concept relates to the food system, which is durable and eco-friendly that keeps the people and the environment a safer approach.

Once the eco-culinary concept gets implemented, it can assist hugely in food security and solving the issues of the economic crisis within the country.

The chefs and the concerned departments are the ones who are concerned with reducing food waste and increasing sustainability through eco-friendly-oriented actions.

Several green hotels have been established so far to launch the eco-culinary concept and are implementing the idea of renewable energy side-by-side by installing energy-efficient technologies in the hotel and using environment-friendly pollution-free equipment.

It can assist massively in promoting the green environment in the present and the coming days. There should be coordinated action from all of us in preserving our environment and letting it be the original ones.

The eco-culinary idea can provide better ingredients, and ensure better health, cost-efficiency, and benefits to the environment, thereby reducing the waste piles in the landfill sites.

Considering the eco-culinary, numerous nations in the present scenario have adopted the eco-culinary concepts, summarized below under headings.

1. Farm to table, New York, United States

farm - eco-culinary
Cabbage, a farm product, could be easily transported directly to customers (source)

It is inferred as the crucial concept of sustainability in restaurants. Under the farm-to-table idea of the culinary, the restaurants themselves, under the leadership of the philosopher Chef Dan Barber manufacture the ingredients to prepare the food.

The restaurant has been converted to Greenwich village, where the foods are prepared using locally available ingredients such as stale bread and misshapen vegetables.

Since the ingredients are gained from the vegetables, the food waste has decreased so far, leading to food security and halting the food crisis problem. Upon doing so, they believe that the number of litter that emerges from the restaurant can be decreased.

2. Vegetable garden at the White House, United States

White House garden - eco-culinary
The vegetable garden of the White House (source)

Acting as the first senior White House food policy advisor and serving as Barack Obama’s chef, Sam Kass initiated the vegetable gardening in the White House, commonly familiar with the term ‘Obama Garden.’ Upon such initiation, they addressed the issues regarding food sustainability and the health sector.

Since he was Obama’s chef, through his inspiration, the people have commenced setting up vegetable gardens in their homes that ensure food sustainability and make them independent in terms of the foods to serve themselves.

Through the establishment of the vegetable garden, various activities have been conducted so far concerning the global food system leading towards sustainability and an environment-friendly approach.

3. Nose to the tail cooking, United Kingdom

April Bloomfield. Copyright: The New York Times

Generally, we prefer not to create food waste materials that we consume. Yeah, everyone desires to create a safe environment for the food system.

Since the name implies that no animal is being wasted, April Bloomfield has used the same animal parts that customers generally don’t prefer.

Such initiatives can undoubtedly reduce the waste piling of the animal parts in the dumping sites. It is referred to as the practical eco-friendly approach and a safer environment in the restaurant.

April uses the parts of the animal from top to bottom. But with her basic cooking techniques, she has attracted numerous customers to the restaurant.

4. The big idea, the United Kingdom

Pigs - eco-culinary
Little Pigs with big digestion capacity (source)

The pig idea concept was proposed by Thomasina Miers, the pioneer Masterchef, for the first time. She has commenced around 20 United Kingdom restaurants and spread to the United States based on food sustainability with a big idea of recycling surplus food and feeding it to the pigs.

Some might be surprised that pigs have a digestive system that permits them to eat just anything. Such culinary concepts make the environment safer, and the wastes are converted into the food system for the pigs.

5. The Indian concept of the spice village, India

spice - eco-culinary
Spice Village Periyar, South India (source)

The spice village resort of India has been offering several services to the customers, thereby thinking about environmental welfare. This resort does include the traditional cuisine of Kerala.

The ethnic foods are delivered to the foreigners, forming the preferred cuisine of the chutneys made up of gooseberries, beetroot, or mangoes.

Apart from this, fresh herbs and the vegetables such as carrots, pumpkins, beans, and cabbage are included in the cuisine as they grow in their organic gardens.

The native fishers are included in their local rivers. From this, one can quickly learn that such initiation has assisted hugely in controlling the carbon footprints.

The most exciting thing to depict this resort is that the visitors are offered to visit their local pepper farm. We could relax by visiting the farm with the pepper fragrance and the scenery of the mountains from the resort. It can enhance organic farming, where food waste is minimal.

6. The farm of Maritim Jolie Ville Kings Island Luxor, Egypt

Luxor - eco-culinary
Maritim Jolie Ville Kings Island Luxor, Egypt (source)

The Maritim Jolie Ville Kings Island Luxor, situated in Egypt, has operated its farm on the island. The farm cultivates local vegetables and some herb species such as potatoes, tomatoes, and carrots, including non-local salads, avocado, Italian lemons, and many more. The garden in the hotel entails only those but also includes its honey.

The research reveals that the average annual production of the herb is 1430 kg, 4780 kg of fruits, and 9170 kg of vegetables, which seems a massive display that the hotel on the island has offered. 

This eco-culinary concept is in the sense that it offers fresh vegetables and fruits to the foreign customers produced within their hotels, thereby decreasing the food costs and assisting in increment the national revenues by selling the agricultural goods.

Moreover, it sells its fruits, honey, and vegetables to the neighboring hotels where the chefs produce their jams.

7. Computerized recipes

Many chefs apply computer-based systems for recipe management where the software can scale and rescale the recipes as needed.

Once it is used in the restaurant, based on the guest forecast, it prepares the cuisine, which without doubt removes the unnecessary food waste when the right amount of the food is well known.

It is a crucial eco-friendly step towards preventing food spoilage and ensures accurate food cost savings. Along with this, it does assure healthy purchasing procedures.

8. Process of upcycling at Paloma Hotel, Turkey

The Paloma hotel has been reusing the packaging wastes. It’s a matter of pride that several restaurants and hotels have targeted their actions to the eco-friendly approach globally.

This hotel has inspired several people to use recycled products to minimize waste and decrease the waste piles at landfill sites. 

Packaging waste is converted into toys and handicrafts, as the saying matches trash into cash. The recycled materials from the waste bins have been kept in the hotel entrance as a motivating material.

9. Plastic-free meals, Kathmandu, Nepal

plastic free - eco-culinary
Eco-friendly plastic-free plates from Eco Sathi (source)

In the present context of Nepal, multiple companies, which entails Eco Sathi Nepal, B2B hospitality, and Leaf Plus, have approached sustainability regarding the production of biodegradable and organic cutlery made from the locally available bamboo.

The idea does hit when one has a keen interest in using sustainable products in the kitchen and the cooking items.

It removes plastic cutlery since it contains various chemicals and negatively influences the whole environment and our public health.

Such eco-friendly cooking has addressed the dire issue of plastic packaging in Nepal. Once the plastic materials are used, they remain in the river or ocean bed for a prolonged time.

Burning plastic won’t help as it creates adverse effects such as the emission of harmful gases like carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, methane gas, and many more, making it difficult for breathing and the respiratory system.

The new products established so far through the several tree leaves have gained popularity entailing the dinner plates, spoons, and bowls to the multiple restaurants and the departmental stores in Nepal and other nations such as the United Kingdom, Japan, and Australia.

10. Organic farmhouse resort, Kapan, Kathmandu, Nepal

Organic farmhouse promotion video of 2017. Copyright: Dogancan colak

The organic farmhouse resort of Kapan, Kathmandu, Nepal, is considered one of the eco-friendliest resorts. This resort has been serving organic and fresh food items to the locals and the foreigners who visit to taste the organic foods prepared by the resort.

As familiar with the eco-friendly alternative, it does not use chemical pesticides and fertilizers in agricultural production, which can seriously deteriorate human health, resulting in detrimental effects in the future.

Conclusion

Since the environment has been deteriorating daily, the eco-culinary concept spread throughout the globe can benefit the environment.

Multiple companies and cooking restaurants have gone so far in the eco concepts to think about their health, satisfaction to the customer upon high demand, and preservation of the natural products using the locally available natural resources. 

It entails several techniques and the practices such as an eco-packaging system, creating the own organic garden, establishing vegetable gardens in the restaurants, eco-kitchen designation, and many more.

Kalpana Ghimire holds a post-graduate degree in Environmental Science from Nepal. She possesses numerous research experiences working in water pollution, community forestry, environment conservation status, and wildlife ecology. She was an internee in the Department of Environment (EIA monitoring and auditing section) under the Government of Nepal. Kalpana Ghimire is an avid traveler, an enthusiastic wildlife researcher, and has a huge passion for working in the environment sector. She loves far traveling to the natural areas, conducting field wildlife research and reading the novels.