1 Indian hydrologist (harvested from Hong Kong)

1 Italian physicist (made in Milan)

1 Pakistani policy analyst (plucked in Pakistan)

1 American MBA (cultivated in Colorado)

1 Greek energy scientist (garnished in Greece)

1 German bioecologist (grown in Germany)

1 Dutch environmental scientist (hoisted from Holland)

1 Indonesian engineer (nascent in the Netherlands) 

Many weeks of a typical (Dutch) corporate lunch

A healthy and creative sense of cooking

Traditional recipes

1 small-medium kitchen in the office

1 flexible manager 

Mix well!  

With its humble beginnings in the OnePlanet Sustainability Incubator in Amersfoort, OnePlanet Kitchen (OPK) started off simply as an in-house lunch session. Being a diverse start-up company (OnePlanet Catalogue) with just a handful of us from all over the world, my colleagues and I (Indian hydrologist) got rather fed-up with the same corporate lunch – various spreads on cold bread. 

After triumphantly convincing our Dutch manager that we’d prefer warm, fresh, office-cooked meals, which were significantly cheaper as well, we started circulating kitchen duties amongst ourselves. 

The concept caught on and soon the whole building would join us for our infamously cheap, tasty and healthy lunches of various international home favourites  –  we indirectly created a new office culture and it added that much more zest to our day! I thought, why not take this a step further and expand the concept with the tenets of sustainability...

Soon after, I met up with a Japanese-Dutch friend who volunteered at a curious café in Utrecht. After introducing the concept, OnePlanet Kitchen became one of the first truly sustainable cuisine concepts in the Netherlands (possibly one of the most unique globally) and is an independent, hybrid volunteer/non-profit initiative since 2011.  

 Why Sustainable Food and why Non-profit?

Because its BIO - LOGICAL! There's a lot of science behind sustainable food production and it touches on every aspect of life. I cannot begin to describe the endless chain of events that revolves around any kind of resource production and consumption cycle, so I've decided to let this video do some of the talking for me. (It may refer to USA, but serves as a global proxy). We actually also made our own video with the help of Nate Tytor who generously donated his time and skills to make it. Interestingly enough he has now gone on to run his own restaurant in Nürnberg, Germany!

There's plenty of ethos behind why I started OPK. In a nutshell, I wanted to promote sustainable behaviour, stimulate green economies and help our fellow humans in less fortunate circumstances. It is a holistic solution to an outdated unsustainable economic system. The story of food or sustenance, connects us to everything we interact with. It is central to culture, society, environment, economy, and even technology. Since our choices as consumers have such a dramatic impact in the world, it behoves us to be more responsible. Obviously we all can't grow our own organic food thanks to our lifestyles and unique circumstances...

But, what if I told you, you could (partially) eat your way out of this problem and contribute to sustainability?

Just by changing our diet to promote vegetarian (resource and animal friendly), organic (health and biodiversity concious) and locally produced goods (improved local economic resilience), we promote so much health and wealth in our societies. If you can help those in need at the same time, while sharing your culture at the table, then I say Bon Appetit!