UPDATE: Sustainuary has been postponed until February due to rising Covid-19 case counts in Ontario and the associated closure of indoor dining across the province. This article has been updated to reflect that.
Sustainuary is a public awareness campaign running for the whole month of January designed to educate on our food systems and how to work towards reform.
"Our food systems are broken."
"Large corporations have commoditized and politicized food to the point where we have become completely disconnected with where our food comes from." says Chris Locke, Executive Chef at Marben and one of the founders of the movement.
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Sustainuary is a grassroots, industry led initiative. It's being spearheaded by Locke and the team at 100KM Foods. Eight chef ambassadors have jumped on board to spread the good food word. The goal is to educate the ways in which a sustainable diet can be achieved and influence change in our food systems by changing consumer demand.
Throughout the month of February, they will host educational discussions with key stakeholders in the conversation of sustainability. Each talk will address the key issues in our framework and offer an opportunity to learn more about how our food systems can be sustainably stewarded.
There's also a dinner series planned. The dinner series will both educate and challenge the guests while raising funds for Foodshare and the work they do around social justice and security in food systems. Guests will enjoy a unique 4-course meal with each course focusing on one of the pillars of the Sustainuary framework. The dishes will be curated by Chefs who are championing sustainability from within their restaurants and communities.
Chefs Joseph Shawana, Chris Locke, Ryan Lister and Joshna Maharaj will serve up courses and conversation on locality, seasonaliy, waste reduction, responsible food generation and social justice at the inaugural Sustainuary dinner (dates TBD). For the second dinner, chefs Laura Maxwell, Christ Locke, Matt Ravenscroft and Adam Hynam Smith will do the same. Paul Taylor, Executive Director at Foodshare Toronto will be a special guest at both events with proceeds from the events going to support Foodshare's efforts to address food insecurity in Ontario.
Participating restaurants will also be promoting Sustainuary dishes on their own menus throughout the campaign. Keep an eye on your favorite local spot and be sure to dine-in or get takeout next month to support the cause!