Tag Archives: sustainability

TEDX Goteborg

TEDX Gotebörg Salon: Availability vs. Sustainability

TEDX Goteborg

On the 28th of March 2017,  Happy M Vegan kitchen hosted the first TEDX Gotebörg Salon event 2017. The topic was Sustainability vs. Availability. The event set out to inspire conversations around the topic of Food Sustainability.

TEDX Goteborg

The Famous sign

I have always been an avid fan of Ted Talks. I even have my own Ted Monday ritual in which I seek to empower myself by watching various talks. It could be anything from antibiotic resistance, the creation of robotic limbs to dream interpretation and understanding death. Ted Talks have always been an avenue in which my creativity flows and my mind travels.

TEDX Goteborg

Attending the event with Ekin and Livia

This salon event was a little different than the usual Ted Talk structure that were used to watching. Two Ted talks were screened linking to the overarching theme of sustainability followed by a panel discussion in which the audience posed questions.

TedX Goteborg

Discussion Panel: Åsa (moderator), Gianluca Tognon, Carina Sundqvist and Marie Butler


The Ted Talk was by Caleb Harper on Digital Farming. His initiative seeks to create a world of ‘digital farmers’ who will help to feed the estimated 9 Billion souls by 2050. With a decrease in farmers worldwide he seeks to digitize food using ‘food computers’ which aid the connection between plants and us as ‘digital farmers’. These labs can be housed in small spaces thus saving space.


The Second talk screened was by Megan Miller on insects as the new future food. Her project Bitty Foods involves the use of crickets as an alternative nutrient source. This I found very interesting. In some cultures around the world, such as some tribes in Kenya rain flies and other insects are consumed as a delicacy. However, faces around the room were comical with some saying they wouldn’t imagine eating ‘bugs’.

TEDX Goteborg

source: bittyfoods.com

The most interesting part of the talk was that she used crickets in dried flour form to make everything from pastries to pizza (pictured above). Her talk was powerful in that it questioned the norm and presented alternative sources of protein that would help to address the current challenges we are facing of the sustainability of the meat industry.

The panel discussion comprised of Gianluca Tognon, Carina Sundqvist and Marie Butler. Who are a professor in Nutrition, green growth expert and founder of Happy M Kitchen respectively. Questions from the audience included how energy efficient food labs and vertical farming initiatives are?. How to get children more involved in learning about good nutrition?. To how feasible cricket flour is as a large-scale alternative to wheat flour for the population at large?.

Panel discussion

It was a great panel discussion and event to which I can say that I learnt a great deal. I also learnt that the choices I make when I go shopping for groceries in Gothenburg affect the way in which food is grown, harvested and even wasted at home and around the world. Here are 5 great take away tips from the event.

TEDX Goteborg

I am happy to say that I will now make a conscious effort to buy more local food to support farmers as well as incorporate more fresh food in my diet.

Sweden has really opened my eyes to the world of food sustainability and thinking about the impact of what I buy and eat has on the environment.

Take Away

An interesting blogger I discovered at the talk is Hanna . Her blog includes recipes and a shopping list for only SEK 300 which can feed a family of four for a week. I am definitely going to try some recipes out and those cricket flour cookies looked really good I must say!

The next TedX Salon will be on May 30th and the TedX talk will be on October 30th.

TEDX Goteborg

TedX Goteborg Salon

Follow them on facebook for more details and remember to search for your network in your Swedish city!

From Sweden with Love

How many Master’s students does it take to Recycle?

Photo: Chuck Norris (Hermes Droghetti) feels good recycling

Q – How many Master’s students does it take to Recycle?

A – All four of us in the house. (ha ha ha) Fine, don’t laugh. I will make fun of you when your time comes 🙂

Keywords: environment consciousness

I think the Swedes have three national sports: queuing, kanelbulle eating, and recycling. I’m afraid soccer and ice hockey didn’t make the shortlist… sorry Zlatan. So, what I want to talk about today is Swedish recycling.


Once upon a time I read an article about “Sweden ran out of garbage” (google it, interesting read). The recycling companies pick up categorized garbage. Your food waste lives a glorious afterlife as they are turned into energy. But it is really true. Some of the key points from that article…


  • 250,000 homes are powered by garbage
  • 80,000 tons of garbage is imported from Norway




Random story:

I was traveling in Japan this summer. I was impressed by the cleanness of the streets in Japan. What I found even more interesting is that you don’t find garbage bins easily in public. I met an American guy, who was sent to Japan by his company to learn about good practices for export to America, and he pointed out Japanese people bring separated garbage from home and recycle them at local subway stations. I was mind blown!

Perhaps Sweden can win the “silver medal” in recycling. Once you land in Sweden, you should walk around your neighborhood and find the miljöstation (Garbage station). You will be amazed by how specific each bin is! In my block, we have three disposal locations for various types of garbage. (I confess I haven’t figured them out to the fullest extent yet.)


Sure, I enjoy separating paper from everyday waste. I have a great time putting organic waste in decompost bag. But beyond that, frankly, I found the detailed recycling a nuisance in the begining. Three month later, I have six garbage bins in my kitchen! I think I got a master’s degree in sustainability.


Again, good for you Sweden. Rest of the world, learn!*

*note, I’m not sure how well the Swedish recycling system will work elsewhere in the world. However, I’m sure if we all put in a little effort separating our garbage, we will do this planet some good.


Fun exercise, I was staring at the label of two bins for five minutes and I couldn’t figure out the difference between the two. Can you spot the difference?

Bottle colors

Why don’t you go to ____ ? Why Sweden…

“Why don’t you go to Germany if you are studying Automotive Engineering…?” I get asked this question asked a lot back in Canada. “I like Sweden…Volvo, IKEA, and Swedish Meatballs” and I can say it with a straight face.

Perhaps my motivation is more personal. I got a set of Matchbox cars on my sixth birthday. My favorite one is the Volvo 480. I played with it so intensively you can barely notice the original white body paint. And who doesn’t like IKEA?

Let me explain further. I used to live in Norway, so I got to know a bit about “Scandinavian design”. In particular, I am very impressed by the Swedish forward-thinking mentality.  For example, Volvo engineers placed heavy emphasis on vehicle safety since the beginning. This is unheard-of during the era when other car manufacturers prioritized performance by fitting the biggest engine under the hood. Yet, Volvo cars are highly reliable and stay on the road longer than any other cars.

Swedish goods are also renowned for durability and stylish design. IKEA is an excellent testament to that statement. IKEA furniture holds timeless aesthetics through simplistic design. It is extremely functional, easy to transport and assemble. In my mind, the Billy series bookshelf is an icon no smaller than the Volkswagen Beetle.At the end of a product’s lifecycle, the country recycles and disposes garbage in an effective fashion. That is something the rest of the world can adaptor from Sweden.

In addition, I am a fan of unrestricted camping in gorgeous landscapes (check out Jesus’ blog on his camping trip here). The Swedish society understands sustainability and protects the environment dearly.

You may not agree with me on any of these points. Anyways, apply to Swedish school now and I will try to prove my points to you in the coming year. Food for thought. Yes! Last but not least, Swedish meatballs are delicious, simply put.