Singapore has overcome various crises throughout history, from tenuous water supplies post-Independence to the outbreak of SARS in 2003. No matter what history has thrown at us, our Little Red Dot has always managed to weather the storm.
Climate change is one of the largest threats of the 21st century—rising sea levels and more frequent extreme weather conditions are just some of the dangers looming on the horizon. Singapore imports a vast majority of its food, making us particularly vulnerable to potential food supply disruptions caused by climate change.
Despite our vulnerabilities, Singapore’s trademark resilience will be crucial in helping us band together and overcome this challenge. Our Singapore farmers, businesses and the government are already working together to strengthen our food security.
To help our champions of agri-food, consider making the switch to local produce. Our guide will give you the lowdown on the why, how and where.
Why make the switch to local produce?
You’ll be eating for Mother Earth
You may think that vehicles like jet planes are the biggest contributors to global carbon emissions, but food choices play a big role in the fight for our planet as well.
While it may seem like an inconsequential decision, the food that we choose to eat can play a big part in helping to save our planet.
Food currently contributes up to a third of the world’s greenhouse gases, and every nation can help do its part in lowering these emissions.
Eating local can go a long way in keeping these carbon emissions down, as local produce takes a much shorter route to our supermarket aisles.
Local produce is naturally fresher
Did you know that vegetables like spinach could lose up to 50% to 90% of its nutrients, just 24 hours after being picked? Since local produce gets to us faster, it remains fresher and more nutritious.
Variety is the spice of life
You may already know of some local farms producing fish, eggs and leafy vegetables. But did you know that we have some unusual local produce too?
Sustenir Agriculture’s high-tech, vertical indoor farm
You’ll get a helping of patriotism
Going local won’t just fill your belly—it’ll also warm your heart with the knowledge that you’re helping to support our local farmers.
Egg farms like Seng Choon have come up with healthier, lower cholesterol options, while vegetable farm Meod has developed a vertical aeroponics system to maximise space and minimise energy usage, as well as technology to track crop growth.
Buying local will help ensure that these companies continue to grow, innovate and do our nation proud.
Where can I get my hands on local produce?
Look out for labels at supermarkets
You can find local produce at most supermarket chains and grocery stores in Singapore. To make your search even easier, be sure to keep an eye out for the newly-launched local produce label, available from August 2020.
Get your groceries online
We all know that grocery shopping can be a hassle, so online supermarkets like RedMart are great options for time-starved shoppers looking to hunt down local produce.
Freshly-hatched eggs from N&N Egg Farm
Game for change—How to eat like an eco-champ
Add more greens to your diet
The average Singaporean’s diet comprises 46% fruits and vegetables, 26% grains, and 28% proteins, such as meat, eggs and seafood.
While opting to swop out one meat dish in your cai png for veggies may not sound like a big change, it can have a significant impact if enough of us tweak our diets. Meat and grain tends to contribute to more carbon emissions, so reducing our consumption of these and eating more vegetables instead isn’t just better for our bodies, but also the environment.
Dine at farm-to-table restaurants
Increasingly, there have been more dining establishments offering farm-to-table produce for eco-conscious foodies.
Swissotel The Stamford and Fairmont Singapore grow their own supply of vegetables and herbs for their kitchens.
Stalwarts like Open Farm Community boast ingredients freshly grown on farms at each establishment, while hotels like Swissotel The Stamford and Fairmont Singapore are tapping on aquaponics to grow vegetables for their hotels’ kitchens.
Get creative with your food
Have some leftover rice from dinner last night? Crack in a locally-hatched egg, and add some salt and pepper for a delicious fried rice dish at lunch time!
Have some leftover chicken? Pair it with some homegrown lettuce and bread for a healthy, filling breakfast sandwich!
By getting creative with your leftovers, you don’t just save money on food. You’ll save the excess from being binned.