Feature ArticlesVol. 2

food for THOUGHT… message from Foodservice Consultants Society International Asia Pacific Division Chair – Ms CLARA MING PI, MSc. RD. FCSI

By February 25, 2013October 25th, 2013No Comments


7887048Food and agriculture today is a challenge for mankind and our planet. Thus implementation of “The 21st Century Kitchen”, integrating energy efficient and water saving equipment in institutional kitchens coupled with “low carbon emission menus”, serving more local, organic plant-based menus, reducing food waste plays a front and centre role on the world’s stage.

Currently we are facing tough and uncertain times of global economy collapse, social unrest and major environmental issues. Rising temperatures, erratic weather, population growth, and scarce water resources – along with growing civil unrest and skyrocketing food prices – are putting unprecedented stress on people and the planet (World Watch Institute, 2011). As professionals serving the foodservice industry, let us not forget the vital role we play in the big picture. It is our duty to take the lead in the design, development and implementation of “green” kitchens in order to contribute to the global sustainability effort.[hr]

fcsi1FCSI has been providing members with tools to implement such energy saving programs with the joint publication of “The Guide, Energy Efficiency in Commercial Kitchens.” The guide is the result of a collaboration of the three main catering equipment trade associations, catering consultants (FCSI), catering equipment manufacturers (CESA) and catering equipment distributors (CEDA) who came together to form the CSFG in 2006. Written by consultants, manufacturers and kitchen installers, the guide provides clear, practical advice that readers can begin using immediately. Commercial kitchens can make big improvements on energy efficiency, according to a new guide written specifically for caterers by the Catering for a Sustainable Future Group (CSFG) and the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE). Outlining key areas for taking action to achieve significant energy usage reductions and cost savings from foodservice facilities, provides industry-specific advice on sustainability including guidance on improving energy efficiency, creating an energy audit and a comprehensive checklist of energy saving measures. For the first time, benchmarks are published giving the energy cost per meal for the main types of catering operation so caterers – following their own audit – can compare their business with a typical model and find out if their energy consumption is above or below average.[hr]

Food is the foundation of all life and critical for survival on this planet. Global warming and environmental degradation are adversely affecting our entire food chain. Conversely, our choice of food also impacts carbon emission, global warning and climate change. All of our food sources are the cause of one third of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.



“Mankind has pushed civilisation to the brink of collapse by bleeding aquifers dry and over plowing land to feed an ever growing population while overloading the atmosphere with carbon dioxide which leads to global warming and climate change” Lester Brown stated in his 2011 publication “World on The Edge: How to prevent Environmental and Economic Collapse.”

Livestock is one of the most significant contributors to today’s most serious environmental problems and current world meat consumption is set to double by 2050. Recent rapid economic development in Asian countries parallels increased meat consumption. Increased affluence seems to be tied to eating more hamburgers or fried chicken at fast food mega-chains. The direction we are headed can only be changed if we become aware of the direct environmental consequences of our food choices and begin to reduce our meat intake. Health professionals are now advocating a healthier plant-based diet where scientific studies have concluded to reduce risk and helps in prevention of obesity, Type II Diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and various types of cancer and many more.

On my recent speaking engagements in Asia, Europe and South America, I quoted phrases from “The Sacred Balance” by David Suzuki. In his best-selling book, David Suzuki reflects on the increasingly radical changes in nature and science – from global warming to the science behind mother/baby interactions – and examines what they mean for humankind’s place in the world. The book begins by presenting the concept of people as creatures of the Earth who depend on its gifts of air, water, soil, and sun energy. The author explains how people are genetically programmed to crave the company of other species, and how people suffer enormously when they fail to live in harmony with them. Suzuki analyzes those deep spiritual needs, rooted in nature, that are a crucial component of a loving world. Drawing on his own experiences and those of others who have put their beliefs into action, The Sacred Balance is a powerful, passionate book with concrete suggestions for creating an ecologically sustainable, satisfying, and fair future by rediscovering and addressing humanity’s basic needs. This is my favorite quote from David Suzuki:

“Each of us has the ability to act powerfully for change; together we can regain that ancient and sustaining harmony, in which human needs and the needs of all our companions on the planet are held in balance with the sacred, self-renewing processes of Earth.”

The choice is ours. It will be made by our generation, but it will affect life on earth for all generations to come.


FCSI Asia Pacific Division Chair[hr]

Foodservice Consultants Society International (FCSI) is the only worldwide organisation of “independent” foodservice consultants. We have over 1300 members in 45 countries and growing, we have been active in the industry for over 50 years We are a global community of professionals passionate about foodservices, who enjoy working together to meet the ever changing needs of our industry. Our mission is to promote ethical professionalism in foodservice and hospitality consulting while returning maximum benefits to all members. Asia Pacific Division is the newest division of FCSI, representing FCSI in the most dynamic & developing region in the world. FCSI Asia Pacific Division made our debut in China with Hotelex Shanghai 2011 with the theme: “The 21st Century Kitchen” displaying the latest concept and technology and how one should plan and design for future sustainable kitchen in the 21st century. This was met with great success and we have been invited back for the 2012 and 2013 events to showcase the most innovative green foodservice concept at FCSI APD’s “The 21st Century Kitchen” exhibition booth. We are now cordially inviting FCSI members from Asia Pacific, Europe-Africa-Middle East and The Americas Division to join us at the Hotelex Shanghai 2013 event along with our foodservice industry peers and friends to share and learn at this great event. We are looking for extreme futuristic ideas demonstrating our leading role in the foodservice industry, FCSI Asia Pacific will be giving out the “2013 Technology & Innovations Award” at Hotelex Shanghai 2013. In addition of holding our own AGM and annual conference on-site with the theme “Be the Best and Be Different” on Monday April 1st 2013, FCSI Asia Pacific is organising a public forum for local attendees right on exhibition site. FCSI members will be speakers and moderator for this one day education event on Tuesday April 2nd ,2013.

Asia Pacific division is busier than ever before providing value to our membership, promoting sustainable green kitchen concepts and marketing the FCSI brand in our region. Within 2012 alone, FCSI held exhibitions and public seminar events at Hotelex Shanghai 2012, our annual conference in FHA Singapore and a local Australia New Zealand chapter conference and event at Fine Food Melbourne. At Hotelex Shanghai 2013, FCSI Asia Pacific will again provide the foodservice industry with a platform in one of the fastest growing economies in the world, sharing the FCSI brand and bringing home our mantra: We Share, We Support, We Inspire. Come and join us in Shanghai!