Founder of HomeGrown School
If you're someone who's purchased some green vegetables recently, this is
probably what it went through to get to you: At some point, a natural habitat was cleared to make way for the
farm. The farmer most likely decided to use quick-fix chemical fertilisers to replace
macronutrients, which diminish soil quality before leaching into the groundwater. If the farm practises mono-culture farming (ie only grows one type
of crop – in this case, green vegetables), the problem of disease is exacerbated.
When your green vegetables are ready for harvest, they're
put on a vehicle along with thousands of others and sent to wholesale,
distribution and retail centres, releasing greenhouse gases and pollution. And for every green vegetable that makes it to the retail
outlet, many more don't.
A disturbingly large amount of food loss and wastage occurs during the journey from farm to consumer, and discarded 'ugly', but perfectly edible, produce accounts for a significant portion of that wastage. Any remaining green vegetables are wrapped in plastic wrap to
protect them from further damage. And if you bought them online in China, that means styrofoam, bubble wrap, cardboard and more plastic wrapping – all of which will end up in the trash as soon as you open your package.
The solution? Buying local produce, or better yet, growing and recycling a portion of your own food. A family easily produces up to 10kg of food waste per week – that adds
up to half a tonne a year. My school's mission is to teach urban gardening as well as how to make your own indoor composting system. Anyone can do it, right here in Beijing.
To find out more about HomeGrown School, contact Daniel on WeChat (ID: dadan8) or sign up to one of his composting classes here.