If there’s one thing the O My Bag team likes to do, its enjoy good food! We love sharing recipes and discuss how we can contribute more to our sustainable journey. This month we took part in #organicseptember, set up by the UK soil organization to promote local and organic produce. They aim to take action together to create a better food and farming system, which produces healthy food and protects the planet. 🌱🍃🌍
We want to acknowledge the need for local produce and organic homemade options. This also meant we we can able to reduce our carbon footprint and waste at the same time! #plasticfreejuly left the team motivated to challenge themselves again. The soil association gave many examples of ways to take part, as a team we all went through and picked our favorites.
As a sustainable fashion brand, we are pushing for more transparency within the fashion industry. We also want to support transparent brands in other industries, such as food as we want the food we eat to be traceable from farm to fork. With strict EU laws, we can be sure that if something is labeled organic it meets the strict regulations.
Organic crops are generally grown without synthetic pesticides, artificial fertilizers or biotechnology. Research has shown that some organic foods may have higher nutritional value than others. Without the use of pesticides and fertilizers, plants can produce more phytochemicals. Such as vitamins and antioxidants that strengthen their resistance to bugs and weeds.
When thinking about how to prevent and climate change, buying locally produced food cuts greenhouse gas emissions and protects wildlife.
During lunch, we discussed how could we reduce our carbon footprint. Someone highlighted we could do this by bringing in our own fruit, vegetables, and herbs that some of us grow in our gardens. Every 2 weeks someone prepares lunch for the office from ingredients bought at a supermarket. We took this opportunity to reduce the food being bought and replacing it with locally sourced ingredients. Jess, our production manager, brought in tomatoes and zucchini that she grew in her greenhouse.
Being Organic is Eggcellent
Amsterdam has lots of farmers markets all over town, Albert Cyup, Noordermarkt, Zuidermarkt and nieuwmarkt to name a few, see more here. Our marketing manager Maddie ventured to check out Noordermarkt and get some organic and local fruit and vegetables for lunch. Here she bought some organic free-range eggs for Yan. Who challenged herself to make an egg salade, this is a dip that goes pretty quickly in the office.
Kirsty spent the weekend picking grapes and making grape jam. Not many in the office had ever tried grape jam before, but it tasted really good! Another key part of buying locally is knowing what fruit and vegetables are in season and grown locally. Grapes are harvested from August to October, and making Jam out of surplus fruit is the most sustainable way of storing food.
Pumpkins and squash appear in stores in Autumn as they are lovally grown during this time of year, not only because they are popular halloween vegetables. Asparagus is an example of a fruit or vegetable that is not in season during autumn or winter in Western Europe. In this case, your little pack of asparagus travelled for a long journey to get to your plate.
Although now there are a lot of greenhouses that grow vegetables all year round, this also uses a lot of energy, why not choose to eat the vegetable that is trying their best to grow now.
* No snails were harmed in the making of the jam.
Laura, an excellent baker in the office, jumped at the idea of baking with only organic ingredients. Using organic certified ingredients for baking can be difficult, but Laura sourced her products from local markets and stores. Kirsty’s jam inspired her to bake scones, it worked perfectly. Who doesn’t love an excuse for a nice cuppa tea?
While discussing locally produced food, the topic of food waste came up often. Our marketing intern Maz is from Ireland and often talked about how she would have eaten “coddle” growing up which is leftovers made into a stew, this is a traditional Irish food and shows the culture of not to waste food. This is the purest form of eating sustainably.
Around the world there is an increase in awareness for food waste, Taste before you waste is an organisation set up to prevent food waste in Amsterdam. They pick up surplus food to create community dinners and food cycle markets. Every Wednesday they have a “Wasteless Wednesday dinner” which is a donation-based. Weekly the menu depends on what food they receive, the Wednesday we went as a team.
On the evening we went they served green beans as a starter. Tofu and bean stew for main with a wrap, and grape cake to top it all off.
There are also great apps such as ‘too good too go’ operating all over Europe, where you can buy food that would otherwise go to waste from restaurants and shops. From bakeries to hotel breakfasts. Have you ever wondered what happens to the food at a hotel breakfast buffet if it doesn’t get eaten? Well, hotels are working to reduce their food waste by teaming up with these organizations. Check out how you can get involved or make a difference in your area.
The perfect Pear
Our new graphic design intern joined in the middle of September. Excited to challenge herself, she thought of a way she could take part. A pear tree grows in Nina’s garden, with pears coming into season, has already been harvesting them with her family.
Pears are not a normal ingredient in salads, but Nina’s pear salad with chickpeas, goat cheese, figs, lettuce, avocado and of course pears! It was delicious, encouraging the team to be a bit more creative with our salads.
Mairead Carter x
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