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  • Writer's pictureChef James Oakley

Sustainable dining, don`t shove it down my throat!

As populations continue grow, unoccupied

land space shrinks, rainforest`s recede and

Global temperatures continue to rise, it is

important for us to accept our social

responsibility and understand the effects

our habits have on the planet, our home!

Sustainable dining is something we can all

be a part of and something we as chef`s

can offer to support the planetary struggle

of reducing carbon emissions!

What is Sustainable dining, why so

expensive and why is the industry so

determined to guilt patrons into paying over

the odds for mediocre food and service?

I am passionate about Sustainable dining

and feel it is essential for us as a

civilization to be more conscious of what we

eat, how it is made and the effect it has on

the world around us, I am just not so sure

the organizations that champion

sustainability truly are and instead are just

seizing the opportunity to cash in!

Of course this is a very general opinion and

there certainly are genuine heart felt

companies out there, of course they do

need to earn money to operate.

Having been involved in, and as an

advocate for Sustainable dining myself I

have come across both, however in my

opinion most are quite hypocritical, mainly

focused on driving revenues, profit and

have a habit of becoming over pushy,

verbally aggressive, and attempt to make

you feel guilty if you dislike or disagree with

there product or service!

Really it becomes tiresome to deal with

these organizations and the people within them!

I find it hugely frustrating that the industry

seems to exploit people`s guilt and those

who genuinely want to support and be a

part of the movement!

Why is Sustainable dining and produce only

accessible to the wealthy?

Can the regular working class family afford

organic produce, sustainably certified

seafood, free range grass fed animals?

Surely a truly heartfelt, sustainably driven

industry would make products available to

the populations larger demographic and not

the minority?

Surely it only works if the majority change

there habits?

For that to happen we need to make

Sustainable food choices available for High,

Mid and low income households!

Food trends, it frustrates me when I am

told you can`t eat or serve this as it is not

Sustainable or you should be vegan, meat

production is unstainable (which is very


we can`t just guilt people and shove vegan

food down there throats, we need to think of

creative ways to serve more environmentally friendly meat and create

innovative and delicious plant based food

options so that people will unconsciously

order vegan options from the menu, instead

of saying you should eat this or eat here

otherwise you are destroying the planet!

I really cannot understand the drive to push

or guilt people into becoming vegan, the

argument I will often make, consider you

have a room of 100 people, explain the

effects there dining habits have on the

planet and ask them to become vegan, I

would guess perhaps 1 - 5% would

convert, commit and sustain a vegan diet

long term! In fact I would argue that many

would leave defeated, disengaged and

would just continue as usual, what can I

do?I am not going vegan!

Ask the same 100 people to reduce meat

consumption by 10% and I would think 80 -

90% of those people would make the effort!

Surely this would have a greater impact ?

Society is as it is today due to evolution, we

evolved into singers, writers, career-

oriented professionals due to farming,

animal domestication, we are evolved

omnivores, it has gone to far now and we

need to make changes but we need to do

so in a conscious, heartfelt manner and not

exploit a bad situation for personal gain, we

need to stop making people feel guilty and

shaming them, instead encourage and

support people into making better dining

decisions, above all we need

to find a way of making Sustainable food

choice accessible to everyone, every single


Thanks for reading, I hope enjoyed this

article and find merit in my opinion

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