As the saying goes, the way to a person’s heart is through their stomach.
To win hearts and minds for the sustainability cause, what’s better than getting them started through food? And some fun.
At first sight, GastroBeats at Bayfront may look like your usual festival with food and drinks stalls, lots of fun, neon lights and electrifying music.
However, what’s notable at this year’s GastroBeats is the involvement of local social enterprises that have a heart for the environment and the community.
In particular, many of them share the same mission to fight food waste. A worthy cause, considering food loss and waste account for up to 10 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions globally.
DBS Foundation, which is dedicated to championing social entrepreneurship, has been supporting these social enterprises over the years, and you can do so as well at GastroBeats.
Acai bowls with “ugly” fruits that taste great
Given the brutally hot weather, an acai bowl will make for a refreshing and nutritious snack as you explore the event space.
What’s unique about the acai bowls at GastroBeats is that they are prepared with “ugly” fruits provided by local social enterprise UglyFood.
Founded in 2017, UglyFood collects and sells fruits and vegetables that typically get thrown away because they are not aesthetically pleasing enough to be sold in stores.
Fruits and vegetables that are discarded due to aesthetic reasons contribute to the global food waste issue.
In Singapore, about half of the people surveyed by Electrolux in 2016 admitted that they would avoid blemished fruits and vegetables. A quarter said they would never eat misshapen or bruised produce.
Ugly fruits and vegetables are often perceived as less nutritious or fresh, but that’s not always the reality.
Let the freshly prepared acai bowls at GastroBeats prove to you that fresh fruits taste good regardless of how they look.
What’s more, the acai bowl also pairs really well with the hearty meals from local hawkers like Nasi Lemak Ayam Taliwang or Craft’B.
Rest assured that there’s quality grub at these stalls, as Nasi Lemak Ayam Taliwang and Craft’B were two out of five winners of the DBS Paylah! Hidden Gem Hawkers Awards last year.
The Hidden Gem Hawker Awards are back this year with nominations open from Jun. 3 to Jun. 26. Five hawker winners (one from each region) will be announced right before Singapore’s birthday, and they will each receive S$3,000 in cash and more. You can support your favourite hawkers by nominating them here.
Quench your thirst with CRUST beer and CROP sparkling fruit drinks
Next up, may I bring your attention to CRUST?
CRUST beer is made from bread and rice, which would have otherwise been discarded, while sister brand “CROP” has sparkling fruit waters made from fruit peels which are usually thrown away.
The CRUST group has a rather ambitious goal of reducing global food waste by 1 per cent by 2030.
You can help them attain this goal, or achieve even more, by quenching your thirst with their ice-cold beverages.
Beating the heat (and food waste) can be that easy.
Shop for unique gifts and support a good cause
Besides the CRUST group, you can also find other equally interesting local enterprises supported by DBS Foundation.
Social enterprise Boxgreen sells vegan, nut-free and gluten-free snacks packed by people in vulnerable communities in Singapore.
More recently, they have also come up with ‘Imperfect Drinks’, their own brand of beverages made from "ugly” fruits – once again proving that fruits that don’t look perfect can still taste just as good!
You can also check out Treatsure, a social enterprise that aims to reduce food waste through an app launched in 2017.
On their app, you’ll be able to choose a buffet or restaurant and head over to pack a meal near the end of their operating hours.
You can also purchase surplus groceries, including excess produce or ugly fruits and vegetables, on the app.
Last but not least, if you are looking for a gift for your loved ones, don’t miss The Art Faculty.
Beautiful trinkets, art and other items designed by talented Singaporean artists with autism or related challenges are available at the booth.
With every purchase, you are also helping to provide income for these artists and supporting their journey to become financially independent.
Bonus: Grow your own wildflowers
Next to the Art Faculty is an exhibition by DBS Bank titled “A Brighter World”.
You may think that it’s just a wall of sticky notes.
The wall, however, is actually full of plantable tabs, each containing a fun fact about common consumption habits and their related carbon emissions.
You can peel off a tab, soak it in water and bury it in a pot of soil when you are home.
In a few weeks, lucky green fingers will see wildflowers growing out from the pot.
Before you do so, remember to scan the QR code on the tab and find out how you can lead a more sustainable lifestyle with DBS LiveBetter.
It’s a convenient tool residing in your DBS digibank app that helps users to take sustainable actions that count.
Be sure to drop by the booth before you say goodbye to GastroBeats.
The writer of this sponsored article by DBS Bank hopes you take away fun and fun facts about sustainability.
All images via Mothership unless stated otherwise