At the heart of Singapore’s main shopping district in Ngee Ann City mall is the newly opened Saint Pierre Market — a gourmet delicatessen founded by celebrity chef Emmanuel Stroobant. Its offerings are made from fresh, artisanal produce, enhanced by an emphasis on using more fruits and vegetables than meat.
I am particularly drawn to this epicurean cafe for two reasons. The first is that Emmanuel himself is a vegetarian so naturally, his tastes and preferences come out in the dishes. The second is that it centres around the concept of sustainable eating, thereby carving this delicatessen its own little niche.
Chef Stroobant has purposely designed and prepared the menu for Saint Pierre Market using some of the best artisanal produce available in the local marketplace. For people with allergies or specific food preferences, there are several vegan, vegetarian, gluten and nut-free options available. With these healthier meal options, eating well has just become that much easier and readily accessible, without compromising on taste.
Even if you aren’t able to stop by Saint Pierre Market, knowing how big of an impact farming has on our environment is essential. I believe we must learn the source of our food, and understand how it is grown, raised and prepared. Equipped with that knowledge, we will then be able to develop sustainable eating practices that can help to improve our health while benefiting the health of the planet. With this in mind, the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health has published five tips for sustainable eating.
Filling half your plate with plant-based foods helps to reduce freshwater withdrawals and deforestation, making it a win for both our health and the environment.
Treating meat as a side rather than a main helps to significantly decrease greenhouse gas emissions. It also decreases the need for livestock transportation, thus, reducing the need for food, water, land and energy at the same time.
Being a seafood eater myself, I am aware that the more common species are becoming increasingly overfished or produced in unethical ways. Visit Seafood Watch for some helpful pointers on what may be on the ‘avoid’ list.
Buying from our local sustainable farmers markets can help us find fresher produce, and present an opportunity to learn about how it was grown and harvested. Not only does this allow us to eat seasonally, but there are also fewer pesticides, antibiotics or hormones used.
Being conscious of how and what we eat allows us to reflect on where our food comes from, how much we really need to consume, and ultimately look to more sustainable food sources.