On Jan. 13, 2019, the Chinese Laba Festival, the Good Food Fund held the "2019 New Year Menu Release" at CHAO Sanlitun Hotel, Beijing. Though the New Year's Eve dinner plays a significant part in traditional culture, it's the first time that the New Year menu became the main focus. This event was held by the Good Food Fund under the China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation. Centering on the menu, the Good Food Fund brought together leaders and experts from various quarters to discuss the future trend of China's food. The event also marked the start of the "Global Food Leadership Forum-Feast of World Famous Universities in 2019" event.
Food plays an irreplaceable part in our civilization. However, the recent four decades saw great damage to human health and the environment due to improper eating habits. We cannot wait to change our eating habits and our perception of the food system. We need a "catering revolution"!
At the opening ceremony, Jian Yi, Founder of the Good Food Fund, believed the Menu event would start a food revolution. He also emphasized the importance of the top chefs in catering innovation. As a key connection between manufacturers and consumers, top chefs would play the leading role in the "catering revolution".
Following the "restaurant innovation" initiative, the co-organizers of this conference, Yale Hospitality, and Xinhe Heran, organically shared the "innovations" in their respective fields.
Mr. Adam Millman, Senior Director of Hospitality at Yale University, told everyone about Yale's mission in leading the sustainable development of college catering.
Ms. Kang Yanli from Hona Organic, Shinho pointed out the company's hope to "Treat the World as Family". Shinho wishes to build trust in the market by providing quality food products. Having remained committed to improvements in food ecology for the past 17 years, Hona Organic, an organic seasoning brand under Shinho, is a good demonstration of its determination.
As a Chinese saying goes: "Food is God for the people". China is rich in food culture. But we've thought little about the side effects on the environment and human health brought on by improper eating habits. The New Year's Eve dinner is an important meal in our culture, so the Good Food Fund chose it as the ideal timing for releasing their "catering revolution" menu.
This menu is a masterpiece of seven top Chinese chefs and was designed around the concept of 新生机(xīnshēng jī), meaning new life or new opportunities, and new intentions. In this, 新 or "new" represents the new year, new ideas, and new opportunities. 生 or "birth" refers to new lives, new lifestyles, and growth. And 机, or "opportunity," refers to new chances, organic food, and new opportunities.
The menu ingredients are somewhat restricted: The menu contains 85% pure plant ingredients and 15% livestock-friendly ingredients. Chefs were encouraged to choose local and seasonal food and reduce emissions. With carefully selected ingredients, our top chefs spared no effort in designing a traditional New Year feast.
With the new menu's release, the "Feast of World-Famous Universities in 2019" event started. During the 2019 Spring Festival, the Good Food Fund and our top chefs planned to bring our menu to the Spring Festival feast at Yale, Harvard Culinary Institute of America, and two other prestigious universities in the US in an attempt to promote international discussion on sustainable food. This is the first Chinese top chefs' international tour at American universities. After the speeches, Dr. Zhou Jinfeng, general secretary of the Good Food Fund and Adam Millman announced the start of this event.
To achieve sustainable food development, we can't go far without the help of our supporters. Mr. Zhou Zunguo, Compassion in World Farming China representative, Ms. Xi Chunling, CAPIAC vice president and general secretary, and Steve Blake, Wild Aid China representative, brought us their experiences in promoting sustainable development in their respective fields.
Our guests also included representatives of the Center of Refectories & Restaurants, Peking University, Compassion in World Farming, ICCAW, WWF, UNDP, WHO, FAO, WFP, and the AnJie Law Firm.
In the "Menu New Year Leading Forum" discussion segment, three representatives from various quarters discussed the future of sustainable diets from different perspectives. UN Women's Representative Ms. Wu Xinkun discussed the leading role of sustainable and healthy food from family and social levels. Ms. Kang Yanli from Hona Organic shared her idea about how sustainable eating habits would influence the future food production service. Farm product manufacturer representative Ms. Zheng Hao provided her understanding of sustainable food leadership from the producers' perspective.
At the press conference, the Good Food Fund awarded the title of "Good Food Traveler" to Yale Hospitality, Hona Organic, CHAO Sanlitun Beijing, Hengshun Group, the Center of Refectories & Restaurants, Peking University, Anjie Law Firm, and the China Cuisine Association. In the past few years, Yale Hospitality has become the leader in the restaurant revolution in American universities through reforms. "The CHAO Hotel has always believed in a high-quality life. Our chefs serve healthy delicacies with less sugar, less oil, and less salt. At present, our foods, from the Living Room Dinner to the Drawing Room afternoon tea desserts, are served with 40% less sugar than before." According to Zhang Bin, COO of CHAO Sanlitun Beijing.
Finally, Li Yaguang, senior vice president of the China Cuisine Association, provided his expectations for the future of sustainable and healthy diets on behalf of the most authoritative industry organizations in the Chinese culinary industry and food service industry.
This conference interpreted the concept of good food in the future from multiple perspectives. It also showed, in various forms, the traditional Chinese culture and the concept of sustainable development. The conference invited traditional Chinese paper-cut artists and dancers to give performances. The whole conference venue tried to achieve the "zero waste” goal.