These 3 Women Are Changing the Future of Food Sustainability
Last weekend, the Change Food Fest in New York City gathered food advocates from large and small businesses to explore the changing landscape of sustainability in the food industry.
Change Food is a non-profit organization that emphasizes the importance of the food we eat and its relationship with our environment. One of the goals of Change Food is to educate people about sustainable food and farming, according to the organization’s website.
In an opening statement for Change Food Fest, Diane Hatz, Change Food’s founder, addressed the issue of communication between the technology movement and the food movement, also noting the lack of funding for successful food tech businesses because of them being potentially “risky” investments.
“Technology is not the answer; technology is the means to get us to the answer,” Hatz said. “People are the answer. We are the foundation of ours and each other’s success and we really need to take note of that.”
Another woman with a sustainable food vision is Erica Orange, CEO and executive vice president of The Future Hunters, who presented the Green-to-Blue model as a spectrum of activity for food sustainability for businesses to strive toward. The model consists of three phases: Doing Green; Being Green; and Being Blue.
Doing Green is the outdated model in which companies need to be competitive in the sustainable food market. Grocers selling organic food and reusable tote bags are examples of this model. Being Green is the desired model in which sustainability is used as an “intrinsic guiding principle” in the company structure, influencing how products are produced, what materials the products are made with, and what labor went into it. Being Blue, the future model, means businesses would be putting more back into the eco-system than what was taken from it in the first place. An example of this would be using urban farming to optimize space to grow more food.
Last is Kim Huskey, the food service director at Google, who shared her mission of encouraging a more plant-based diet at the Google offices, not only for employees and visitors nationally, but also globally. The food division of Google aims “to inspire and enable the world to make food choices and use food experiences to develop more sustainable lifestyles and communities.”
To make this goal a reality, Google partnered with the Culinary Institute of America and Harvard School of Public Health for Menus of Change. This food initiative involves “globally inspired plant-centric dishes, minimally processed foods, and appropriate portions,” which make vegetables and legumes more desirable using culinary techniques on vegetables that have traditionally been reserved for meats.