Chef 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
Surely it only works if the majority change
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