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Macao Magazine 54

September 2019

Macao: a story of gastronomy The SAR is a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy. 6.6 per cent of the workforce in Macao is employed in the gastronomy field. 28.6 per cent of those workers are young people aged 25–34. Macao holds regular major food events, such as the annual Macao Food Festival. The next edition will be held between 8–24 November at Sai Van Lake Square and is likely to attract more than 800,000 food fans. The city is home to its own ‘fusion’ cuisine – Macanese cuisine – as well as hundreds of restaurants, many in the entertainment resorts. The Environmental Protection Bureau indicated in its 2018 environmental report that the amount of collected food waste in Macao last year increased by 50 per cent year-on-year to more than 355,000kg.

That includes seven food digesters across our properties and three Dehydra dewatering machines that reduce the volume of our food waste by as much as 70 per cent. We are also excited to be piloting Winnow soon, to see its AI technology in action.” Winnow is a smart waste bin linked to a computer and a screen which uses sophisticated AI to analyse food waste and automatically keep track of what is being thrown away. This allows the management team to get a handle on exactly what is being wasted in order to make plans to reduce the amount of food that’s thrown away. Chef Gaspar says: “In the end, training is the most important aspect when it comes to incorporating these technologies into the day-to-day operations of a busy kitchen. Once the members of a team understand the importance of sustainability, they will have a sense of ownership and everyone can celebrate the positive results together.” MGM, on the other hand, implemented a ‘Clean Plate Scheme’ at two employee dining rooms over three days to encourage staff to reduce food waste by only taking what they could eat from the buffet. Simmons explains: “During this event, we reduced the waste by 817kg. It was very satisfying and something we will definitely continue with in the future.”

One of the organic dishes at Roots

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“Knowing how food waste could create a negative impact on the environment,” continues Simmons, “we have purchased a composting machine to help reduce food waste and it has proven to be very effective. We collect the food waste and kitchen scraps and put it all into the compost machine twice a day. Microorganisms inside the machine break it all down into compost – which we use to fertilise our rooftop farm.” MGM works with local businesses in order to get the most out of the compost that’s produced. Florist Sei Kuai Un Lam has been working with MGM since 2007. Its owner, Chu Lo Man, says MGM – and his business – supports ‘the idea of turning kitchen scraps into a nutrient-rich landscaping compost’. Since March, the entertainment complex has been supplying Chu’s enterprise with around 300kg of compost every month. Chu says that by using the composting machine’s produce, his florist has reduced fertilising costs by up to 25 per cent. “I intend to share this great initiative with the industry,” he claims, “for the good of the environment and also for business. I will also be increasing [our] use of organic fertilisers.” Back at La Famiglia, chef Alves takes a preventative approach to reducing food waste. By training staff thoroughly on the menu and encouraging them to offer suggestions to guests on what to order, they help their diners to choose only want they can eat. Alves explains: “To deal with food waste, we encourage the customers not to over-order. We suggest what will be enough. If the food is not enough, they can always order again. For any kitchen waste, normally it will be shared between our staff.”

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Macao Magazine September 2019  

We have found alarming figures on plastic waste over the course of putting together this issue: 160,000 plastic bags are used every second a...

Macao Magazine September 2019  

We have found alarming figures on plastic waste over the course of putting together this issue: 160,000 plastic bags are used every second a...