As more people eat out these days, restaurants and cafes are thriving businesses. These businesses are in the position to drive change in the way we eat and sustain our planet. As a result, many food establishments are adopting sustainable and eco-friendly approaches to creating food.
The demand for food is growing globally as the world’s population explodes. To meet this demand agriculture needs to increase yields without compromising the ability of future generations to provide for their food requirements.
The answer to preserving our environment and stopping further damage to the ecosystem lies in sustainable farming – a system which is sustainable environmentally, socially and economically.
Sustainable farming means producing food, fibre, plant or animal products without harming natural resources and land and considering social responsibilities such as working and living conditions of farmers and workers, the needs of rural communities, and health and safety of the consumer both in the present and the future.
It takes into account economic viability and profitability and integrates it with environmental health and social and economic equity.
Ideally, sustainable farming meets the needs of the present generation without damaging the ability for future generations to meet their needs.
Stops crop disease
Sustainable farming involves crop rotation where crops are grown according to the season on the same land. This prevents crop diseases and also the risk of wiping out entire crops due to intensive monoculture practices.
Prevents soil erosion
Crop rotation leads to healthier soil and improved pest control methods besides promoting diversity. Intercropping and growing cover crops prevent soil erosion and also helps replenish nutrients along with minimising weeds.
Managing irrigation to reduce runoff is another practice that helps prevent soil erosion.
Traditional methods like tilling and ploughing and using organic manure and fertilisers help improve soil quality.
Reduce pollution and use of chemicals
Sustainable farming reduces pollution by using natural fertilisers and using fewer chemicals. This means that farm produce is healthier and better for you.
Sustainable farming incorporates integrated pest management to identify pests in the initial stages and target spraying only for particular pests limited to a particular area. This way it doesn’t affect the bio-diversity and protects the natural wildlife.
Farmers also build shelters to keep natural pest eliminators such as bats, birds and insects who work to keep pests away.
Even the waste produced by sustainable farming goes back into the farm’s ecosystem and does not pollute the environment.
An important aspect of sustainable farming is that it remains economically viable for farmers, farm workers, and others who are employed in the food system so that they make a liveable wage and work in a safe environment.
Sustainable farming encourages the resurgence of smaller family-run farms that strengthen the rural community which benefits everyone.
Food produced by sustainable farming methods has more nutrients in it as it avoids dangerous chemical and pesticides.
Crop rotation also guarantees more nutrients in fruits and vegetables while livestock farmers raise animals in a humane way without any dangerous practices such as the use of growth hormones and non-therapeutic antibiotics. Thus the meat is safe for consumers.
The food also tastes better.
Improve animal welfare
Sustainable farming improves the welfare of animals by raising animals on pasture and letting them move freely.
Animals consume their natural diet and are treated humanely by the farmers.
Animals are not stressed and are healthier thus needing fewer medications.
Sustainable farming methods protect biodiversity and the environment and it fosters growth and maintenance of healthy ecosystems.
Sustainable farming integrates whole systems and landscapes as part of the farm which supports biodiversity.
By mixing trees and shrubs along with growing crops, farmers provide shade and shelter to plants, animals and water resources.
Renewable energy sources
Sustainable framing relies less on non-renewable energy which is substituted with renewable energy such as solar power, hydro energy or wind power and by labour to the extent that it is economically feasible.
This helps protect the environment from further damage and depletion.
Water is also managed better with sustainable farming by choosing the right crops for the season. Water storage and better irrigation systems are built such as rainwater harvesting systems to make optimum use of natural resources.
• Dương Trí, Annie Spratt, Markus Winkler, Annie Spratt.
Tristan’s true passion and talent lies in capturing people’s stories through the lens of a camera. He believes there’san enormous number of untapped stories that show true human spirit and strength. One day, Tristan hopes to find an incredible story and direct his own feature movie.
Starting out in media with the Queensland Parliament while freelancing on the side, Tristan found his inner Spielberg when he moved to America to study acting and directing. Returning to Australia, Tristan completed his Bachelor of Communication and now works as a videographer, actor and drama teacher. And he’s such a famous barista that his face is on billboards!
As a father of two young children, Tristan was hit hard by the stories of street children in Manilla needing to take drugs to numb their hunger pains. He couldn’t imagine his own children going through this and jumped at the chance to do what he could to help.
‘The best thing about working for OnePlate is the tribe and the mission. We are all there for the same cause and make sure we enjoy ourselves in the process’.
Things you shouldn’t know: If you look in Tristan’s drawer, you’ll find a collection of fake noses. No, he wasn’t a plastic surgeon…but he was clown. And like all clever clowns, he’s got the skill of riding a unicycle down pat.
Tristan’s favourite plate: He can’t resist a beef burger (and recommends Shanklin Café).
Imagine for a moment the feeling you get waving your child off to school in the morning. A combination of excitement, pride and reassurance that their day will be filled with discovery and wonder. Their minds free to absorb knowledge and dream big about what the future may hold.
Now imagine a world in which creativity and education make way for hard labour. Child labour. For Australians, a world like this seems incomprehensible. Education is one of the cornerstones of our society. For parents in the Democratic Republic of Congo, however, it’s all too real. Children as young as ten are forced to forgo education in order to contribute to the family income.
It doesn’t have to be this way and we’re excited to announce that we’re doing something about it, with the launch of our new ‘family farm’ initiative in Africa. The project will empower families, through education and basic supplies, to better cultivate their own land, producing enough fresh food to sustain themselves, as well as having excess to sell back into the community. Ultimately, this will see children freed from the burden of financial support and allow them back into the classroom, where they belong.
The bottom line? We need to raise $30,000 during the month of June in order to fund this project over the next three years, providing a lifetime of self-sufficiency. It’s an ambitious goal, but with your support, it’s one we can achieve together.
With the end of the financial year approaching, there’s never been a better time to make a tax-deductible donation to OnePlate. We’re urging all of our OnePlate tribe members to get behind this incredibly important cause. Donate, share and encourage others to do the same. Together we can change the world.
* Donations of $2 and over are tax deductible through our aid partner World Relief Australia.
Photo by Hanna Morris
They say time flies when you’re having fun. Well, with today marking OnePlate’s first birthday since launch, we can say with certainty that the same applies to changing lives. The last year has absolutely flown by!
We’ve achieved a lot in a short space of time. We spread the OnePlate message through a number of key sponsorships, collaborations & events, hit the ground running in Manila with Agricultural Scientist, Don Van Cooten, cooked up a storm with our MasterChef ambassadors and, most importantly, we funded a number of incredible initiatives that are changing the lives of communities in need. Oh, and we found ourselves a new home at The Commons - fist pump.
It’s been an incredible journey so far and to everyone involved, from our venues and volunteers to our wonderful tribe of supporters and donors, a pat on the back and a big high five! Far from resting on our laurels, though, our focus continues to be on the future. We’ve got some big plans for the next 12 months and with your help, we’ll continue to make a positive impact combatting world hunger.
As always, thanks for being an important part of our mission. Please continue to spread the word where you can.
Each year over 9 million people die of hunger-related causes.
There are a lot of good solutions waiting to be implemented, they just need to be funded.
OnePlate has spent a lot of time researching the best projects to maximise donor impact.
For this reason, OnePlate is committed to sponsoring food projects that are sustainable and that provide long-term solutions.
Nourishment can be defined as "the food required to facilitate life, growth, and health" and, as Australians, it's something the majority of us take for granted in our everyday lives. For the more than 9 million people around the world who die from hunger-related causes each year, though, it’s an unreachable dream that inevitably ends in tragedy.
At OnePlate, our mission is to nourish impoverished communities in developing countries. To breathe life, health and hope back into them. It’s not simply a matter of putting food on plates, however — it’s more than that. We’re passionate about building sustainable food projects so that those in need can benefit in the long term, growing stronger through both individual and community nourishment.
It’s a big, complex issue, but our message to you couldn’t be simpler. Encourage your local café or restaurant to partner with OnePlate and start making a difference now.
Like the difference our rooftop garden in the Philippines is making. With the help of our OnePlate tribe, we’ve been able to partner with the Breaking Hunger Cycle Initiative to support a local NGO that’s been feeding street kids in Manila for over 20 years. The development of the new rooftop garden directly benefits over 500 people in the area, providing not only fresh fruit and vegetables but also an important therapeutic escape from the realities of street life.
It doesn’t stop there, either. We’re continuing to support this important cause by committing to raise money for the development of a new integrated farming enterprise outside of the city, to supply additional food for the feeding program and provide a stimulus for agriculture-based social enterprises in the region. Stay tuned for more on this!
Of course, none of this would be possible without the continued support of our OnePlate tribe. Whether you’re a venue, a donor or simply a passionate follower, thanks for being a part of it. Please spread the word where you can.
As OnePlate’s superwoman of all things finance and operations, Regina’s talent lies in ensuring the everyday running of the organisation is effortless. Inspired by women in leadership, Regina is passionate about her role within OnePlate, and believes world change can happen when everyone makes these small choices when eating out. When she’s not working full-time at WorkSafe Victoria, or helping OnePlate at night, you’ll find Regina wiggling her ears as she takes her 4 children to her favourite OnePlate restaurants.