During the holidays, a few students of the Nayland Food Collective and members of Pūaha Te Tai prepared fresh pizza for the cast and crew of ‘Carousel’ musical production. With the pizza being both vegetarian and seasonal, benefits for health and sustainability were a main focus.
Food systems account for 18–20% of New Zealand’s annual greenhouse gas emissions, one of the topics the Nayland Food Collective is trying to change and raise awareness on. This was only possible thanks to the organisation by Hospitality Tutor Matt Robinson and the vegetables being donated by Conning’s Farm and Tasman Organics, as well as the Mediterranean Food Warehouse donating all dry goods. After Mr Robinson’s initial idea of introducing more sustainable food to our everyday school life, it has been a focus over the last two years. With this in mind, a few students of the Nayland Food Collective and members of Pūaha Te Tai prepared fresh pizza for the cast and crew of the current Carousel production. With toppings being cut up, cooked and prepared as well as the dough being kneaded, the pizzas were freshy baked at lunchtime. With the Pizza being both vegetarian and seasonal, benefits for health and sustainability were a main focus.
Nutritional science consistently shows those benefits of consuming seasonal produce in our everyday diet. One study published in the International Journal of Food Science and Nutrition (2008) compared the vitamin C content in organically, conventionally, and seasonally grown broccoli at the same stage of ripeness from common supermarkets in Northern New Jersey, USA. They concluded that broccoli collected out of growing season (May in the USA) contained half the amount of the vitamin C as the same variety when picked during its prime season of growth. They also found that the seasonality of the broccoli affected the vitamin C content of the samples more significantly than whether or not it was organically grown. Furthermore, you will certainly end up with a greater range of nutrients if you eat with the season than eating the same 10 things all year around. Lastly, a vegetarian diet and its sustainability and health benefits were another important factor regarding our ingredients used. By eating vegetarian food for a year, you could save the same amount of emissions as taking a small family car off the road for 6 months. Only one chicken breast takes over 542 liters of water to produce, that’s around 6.5 x the amount of water to fill a bathtub. Although it might not be possible for everyone, why not give it a try a few days a week?
Overall, the feedback received from both the Carousel crew and the students involved was extremely positive and many were surprised of the variety and great taste the pizzas had to offer. Currently the NFC is working on further expanding ideas that can be integrated into school life and all students involved have the opportunity to attend a visit to the Junction Cheese Shop on Conning’s Corner this Friday, where a range of cheeses will be tasted, and they will learn about the sustainability practices which have set Little River and Thorvald Cheese apart and won them multiple awards and industry recognition.
By Malina Kleine (Yr 13 International Student)