With sustainable living as the next frontier for large establishments, small and medium enterprises, and even homesteads, there are more options for environment-friendly solutions that have started to become more mainstream through the years.
One such movement is called farm to fork, where food is sourced more responsibly, as restaurants strive to offer the freshest in local produce, ensuring less carbon footprints and more sustainable farming practices as they — and by default, the diners — know exactly where their food ingredients come from.
Sheraton Manila has taken the initiative one step further by partnering with Nurture Farm’s Nature Farmacy to grow their own food, and making five-star meals out of meat substitutes which are healthier options for those who have gone on a plant-based diet for health reasons or as a lifestyle choice.
The 300-sqm. Sheraton Farm is located at Amadeo, Cavite, and it has crop cycles of salad greens, herbs, and even the Bahay Kubo veggies which are used by executive chef Kiko Santiago in his delicious Filipino dishes at his festive S Kitchen buffet. “We want to eliminate the stigma that healthy eating or vegetables are dull. So we go back to basics, switching meat on well-loved foods to plant-based but still with the same enticing flavors,” the chef says.
The meat alternatives he uses in his imaginative retooling of longganisa for his kale salad, along with his flavorful renditions of rendang, sinigang, pancit bihon and embutido are made from soy products that are produced especially for his requirements at Nature Farmacy. There is also something for kids, such as spaghetti made with dairy-free daiya cheese, and for sweet tooths who are on a health kick, there are guilt-free desserts in the form of a classic cheesecake that uses stevia as a sweetener and a flourless, eggless and dairy-free vegan brownie topped with caramelized popcorn. While Manila diners may think eating healthy is expensive, the hotel made these dishes affordable and at portions good for sharing.
Environmental and economic impact
This initiative to go back to roots also shines a light on the severe environmental impact of industrial or animal agriculture. Industrial agriculture is a large contributor to climate change because of its greenhouse gas emissions, its massive production of waste and pollution, and its being a huge cause of deforestation.
It is part of the global initiative by the hotel industry to move towards sustainability, with environmental programs being put in place with regard to food and beverage, room accommodations and service programs.
Sheraton Manila views sustainability beyond food intake by supporting the local produce of farmers in Amadeo, Tagaytay. It also opens opportunities for economic growth and development in agricultural areas. “We believe this is just the start of the many things we can still build on, in relation to sustainability. We plan to create more projects to support the talent and produce here in Nurture Farmacy, and bring them to our luxury platform in our hotel,” says Anna Vegara, general manager. The partnership of Sheraton Manila with Nurture Farmacy also encourages their guests to immerse in nature with day tours and visits to their farm.
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For more information about Sheraton Manila’s sustainable food initiatives, call 902-1800 or follow @sheratonmanila on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.