The world has woken up as to how our food choices can have an impact on the environment we live in, from the source of our ingredients, to the waste that it produces.
Businesses can no longer afford to turn their back on such issues, as the world is increasingly impacted by a loss of biodiversity and increased waste in our landfills and oceans.
With 30 ingredients involved in every Laksaboi kit, plus packaging, there are many decisions and options in regards to sourcing and waste. Here we would like to outline measures we have taken to ensure every dish carries with it as little impact as possible on the earth, whilst also highlighting measures you as the customer can take to reduce your own footprint when dining with us.
Like all things in small business, this is a work-in-progress and there is always room for improvement, but it is a journey that we are consistently trying to improve upon.
Meats and seafood
We make two main products for our Original Recipe laksa, which are pastes and stocks. The stock is made from three main ingredients.
One is the peels from the vegetables that we use in the production of the paste (ginger, galangal, onion, etc). This minimises the waste from the paste production.
Two and three are the prawn head/shells and chicken bones. We use parts of these animals that previously were thrown away in their production and sale. The prawns heads and shells from the fish markets used to be discarded when customers would buy pre-peeled prawns. We struck a special deal with Peter's at the Fish Markets to save these perfectly fine prawn heads and use them to flavour our stock. Similarly, we buy our free-range chicken bones from a Marrickville butcher that are the leftovers from filleting into breast, thigh and other cuts. Rather than throwing away this amazing flavour, we employ it for our stock.
We also use shrimp paste in our laksa paste. We have searched for organic, sustainable alternatives to this but have not had any luck. If you know of any such thing, please let us know.
Also by being BYO meats/seafood/extra veg, the choice is given to our customers about what meats or otherwise they would like the enjoy with their Laksa.
Overall we have designed the original dish to be of minimal impact to forests and biodiversity of our oceans. Whilst undoubtedly there is a footprint there, it may not be as large as one would expect. If you are still wanting to decrease your meat consumption, the Vegan Recipe laksa is a brilliant and worthwhile non-meat alternative to the Original Recipe.
Plastics and packaging
We have managed to shift most of the packaging in our kits to fully sustainable options.
Our ziplock bags, which house a lot of our fresh ingredients, use 'landfill bio-degradable' plastic, which means it is naturally broken down by landfill bacteria, as opposed to generic plastic zip-lock bags (link to 'BioGone' video explanation of this).
Our dried shallots bags are fully compostable. The stock container is recyclable, as well as almost all other components within the kit, which are either paper, cardboard or glass. The only exception here is the wrappers for the fortune cookies.
For these we would strongly suggest that our customers setup a "soft plastic recycling" bag, if they haven't already. This is where you can put items such as plastic shopping bags, toilet paper wrapping (or fortune wrappers) into another bag, separate to your food waste which goes to landfill. We use our own SPR bag to dispose of the all plastic we generate when making our kits, such as bean sprout wrapping.
You can then dispose of this completely free of charge at most Coles or Woolworths stores and the plastic is then recycled and repurposed into things like furniture for schools and kindergartens, park benches or even mixed into new roads (link to Planet Ark website, explaining their program and where to find recycling points near you, link to article explaining SPR in new road production).
Let us know
Does this go far enough for you? What waste hacks have you implemented or would like to see others implement? Please let us know by leaving a comment.