Singapore is known to many as a foodie's paradise, with our delectable array of cuisine from the various local cultures.
But did you know that due to little farming land, Singapore imports over 90 per cent of its food?
So in a way, your stomach has travelled to more countries than you have in the past year.
**ba dum tss**
High environmental impact because of food
On a more serious note, while you indulge in a phenomenal meal that was out of this world (read: country), it has implications for our environment.
And that’s because transporting food, especially by air, contributes significantly to greenhouse gas emissions.
As a whole, producing food for humans contributes to over a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions every year.
In case you didn’t already know, greenhouse gases cause the Earth’s temperature to rise, contributing to global warming and climate change.
Month-long food sustainability campaign
If these details have made you more conscious of the things you eat, here are some ways to reduce the environmental impact of the food you eat, whether you’re dining out or enjoying a meal in the comfort of your own home.
#ARecipeForChange is a month-long campaign in March that aims to shed light on food sustainability with a focus on three themes.
Just remember these ABCs:
- Avoid food waste
- Buy local produce
- Choose alternative proteins
Organised by Temasek's Ecosperity platform, this campaign has partnered with over 30 local restaurants across more than 100 F&B outlets to serve up delectable delights that incorporate fresh local produce, alternative proteins and ingredients that will typically be discarded as food waste.
Enjoy exclusive deals as some of these restaurants will offer up their sustainable dishes at a discounted rate (ka-ching).
Here are some of our top picks:
Head on over to Empress at Asian Civilisations Museum for a taste of their sustainable take on some of your favourite traditional Chinese dishes.
Try their Sichuan Steamed Dumplings (S$8.80) which uses Phuture Meat - a plant-based mince that satisfies like the real thing - and sweet vegetables that will have you going for seconds.
Also try the Sweet and Sour “Meat”balls (S$22) - a Phuture-powered crowd favourite offering up an abundance of punchy flavours with each juicy “meat”ball.
Why you should go: Unlike the more well-known Impossible which is a plant-based alternative for beef, Phuture is a plant-based alternative for pork.
Where should you go: Asian Civilisations Museum, 1 Empress Place, Singapore 179555
Some days, all you want is to dig into a simple plate of comfort food and nothing really hits the spot like curry rice.
Give Encik Tan’s Signature Curry Rice with Plant-based Schnitzel a try for a sustainable spin on a customer favourite. Just for the month of March, enjoy this dish at just $5 with a free drink (usual set price is $6.80).
The plant-based schnitzel is served with fluffy white rice, braised vegetables, a fried egg and the not-to-be-missed Hainanese curry.
The Harvest Gourmet schnitzel by Nestlé combines a crispy crumb coating on the outside with a juicy and tender inside that tastes and smells like a real chicken schnitzel.
Plus it’s high in protein, a good source of fibre, and better for the planet.
Why you should go: Plant-based chicken is still quite a rarity and Encik Tan is one of the few places serving it.
Where should you go: Available at multiple Encik Tan outlets.
Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s namesake restaurant Jamie’s Italian is known for its Western classics made with superbly sourced produce.
This month, Jamie’s Italian will serve up their Tuna Fusilli (S$25.95, U.P. S$27.95) with a tuna ragu featuring tuna trimmings from their ala carte Seared Tuna dish.
If fish is not your thing, give the meat-free Ultimate Steak and Mash (S$30.95, U.P. S$32.95) a go.
The star of this classic comfort dish with a twist is a hamburg-style steak made with Impossible and Gardein served with mashed potatoes, roasted squash, charred broccolini and braised onions.
Why you should go: The tuna fusilli dish reduces food waste by using trimmings from another menu item. Also, try the lesser known Gardein plant-based protein.
Where should you go: Forum the Shopping Mall, 583 Orchard Road #01-01/04, Singapore 238884
Satisfy your Japanese food cravings with Menya Kokoro’s Ecosperity Earth Mazesoba (S$12.42, U.P. S$13.80), a plant-based noodle dish with a medley of spinach, baby corn, thinly sliced strips of tomatoes, cucumbers, seaweed and spring onions atop a bed of their signature thick and chewy, nutritious multigrain noodles.
In place of minced pork and chicken, Menya Kokoro uses meat-free proteins to give it that meaty bite without the massive environmental impact.
The dish’s glistening, locally sourced and pasteurised onsen egg also rounds off the dish perfectly.
Why you should go: The mazesoba is Menya Kokoro’s signature dish and this meat-free dish is great for those looking for a more environmentally-friendly option.
Where should you go: Available at Menya Kokoro outlets at Plaza Singapura, Suntec City and 100AM
Laut’s otah (S$27.20, U.P. S$32) is a juicy and unconventional take on the Nyonya classic, made with locally farmed sustainable barramundi from BluCurrent.
The fish is grilled with Ah Hua Kelong’s squid offcuts and folded with local market mackerel and silver baits.
The accompanying pickles offer a fresh bite, and are made from regionally grown greens and calamansi husk vinegar from Laut’s bar.
Inspired to try Laut’s other gourmet creations? Stand a chance to win a meal worth S$500 at Laut by taking part in the #ARecipeForChange Instagram cooking video competition by sharing how you are doing your part to avoid food waste, use local produce and alternative proteins in your dish.
The competition will run till Mar. 31. For instructions on how to participate, please visit www.ecosperity.sg/arecipeforchange.
Why you should go: Most, if not all of Laut’s produce and ingredients are sourced locally. Fruit offcuts from desserts are also used to make their cocktails so nothing goes to waste.
Where should you go: 17 Stanley Street, Singapore 068736
You can find more restaurants with sustainable dishes here.
Of course, eating at these restaurants isn't the only way to save the environment.
Food sustainability talks and virtual tours running till Mar. 21
From Mar. 13 to 21, take part in a variety of talks, workshops and virtual farm tours to learn how our food choices impact the environment and pick up tips on how you can eat more sustainably.
Highlights include cooking demos with chefs Eric Neo and Addis Tan, as well as 987 DJ Natasha Faisal.
This sponsored article brought to you by Ecosperity has made the writer tempted to try alternative proteins.