Green Queen hosted the third edition of our United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) #PlantBased Dinner Series to gather around delicious food at Soho restaurant & bar BEDU and learn about SDG #2 No Hunger from founder of local charity Feeding Hong Kong, Gabrielle Kirstein. Guests enjoyed a 100% vegan tasting menu by Chef Corey Riches while Gabrielle revealed the sobering facts about Asia’s lack of progress regarding all the SDGs (as a region, we are going backwards), while highlighting Hong Kong’s hunger and food waste problem in particular.
At the core of our plant-based dinner series is a mission to bring the community together to enjoy some of the city’s best plant-based dishes creating by omni chefs, while discussing important global issues and what we can do to make the world a better, safer, kinder, cleaner place. The sold-out event featured a 6-course Middle Eastern feast made entirely from plants an in incredibly educational talk about food waste, hunger, progress on the UN Global Goals, and what hope we can have in the future.
Kirstein is the founder of Feeding Hong Kong, Hong Kong’s first globally affiliated food bank, which has to date provided over 7.3 million meals to communities in need in the city. Speaking about the importance of eliminating global hunger, Gabrielle zeroed in on the prevalence of hunger right here at our doorstep. Hong Kong is home to more than 1 million who live in poverty and struggle to afford nutritious meals. This is a shocking figure for a rich city full of food – restaurants, cafés and well-stocked grocery stores and wet markets can be found at every corner – yet we produce 3,600 tonnes of food waste dumped in landfills every single day.
One of the most sobering messages that Gabrielle shone a light on was the fact that Asia is likely to miss every single SDG goal by 2030 at the current pace of progress. According to a United Nations ESCAP report published in May this year, all five of Asia’s subregions are not on track to achieve any of the Agenda’s targets, and in some areas, we are even seeing a negative regression trend. In fact, we are going in the wrong direction for consumption, production, water, sanitation, decent work and economic growth. On more than half of the goals, Asia is stagnant, and has made little to no progress on the remaining goals, including #2 Zero Hunger, which our event was focused around.
Gabrielle concluded on a hopeful note for us to soak in, telling an inspiring story about the work that Feeding Hong Kong does from collecting and redistributing food that would otherwise be wasted by companies and manufacturers, to educating students about food waste in our homes. She also highlighted the SDG #17 strengthening partnerships as a crucial enabler for all the Agenda’s goals, including zero hunger. All our goals are interrelated, which means that we must work as a collective if we are to have a chance to tackle global challenges. For Hong Kong, this means that everyone involved in the industry – food banks, restaurants, diners, homecooks, manufacturers and import companies – need to collaborate to minimise food ending up in landfills and to ensure no one is left hungry in our city.
From what how to tackle household food waste as individuals to making plans to volunteer together or become a bread runner at Feeding Hong Kong, the talk sparked riveting conversations about different actions over a delightful meal at BEDU.
And speaking of BEDU, let’s talk (plant-based) food. We started off with a colourful and refreshing bowl of Pickles, Fresh Cucumber & Red Lentil Hummus, followed silky tahini-glazed Eggplant Carpaccio, deliciously tangy Aged Rice & Pickled Cauliflower Salad and Wood Ear Mushroom Bisteeya topped with chewy whole dates and almond flakes. As we ate, we chatted amongst ourselves and engaged about the topic of the night. All of us left with still a lot to think about, but one thing was clear: we have to start making some progress now.
If you joined us for our third edition, we hope you had as fabulous a time as we did, and hope you plan to join us again at our future dinners. Make sure you never miss out on our mission-driven UN SDG #PlantBased Dinner Series again, make sure to follow Green Queen and don’t forget to sign up to our newsletter too!
Join Green Queen UN SDG Vegan Dinner Series: Uma Nota Vol.4
All images courtesy of Green Queen.