Taste of Sydney: A look into the Sydney food scene’s shift towards environmental responsibility

The success of paddock-to-the-plate restaurants at Taste of Sydney reflects Sydney’s growing interest in a sustainable food industry. The interest is a good thing, but the industry has a way to go before it can become properly sustainable. So what are some things that can change?

Taste of Sydney has been running strongly for eight years now. In that time, the event has grown into a reliable barometer of the changing trends in Sydney’s food scene. 


This year the focus was very much on paddock-to-the-plate restaurants – restaurants which are concerned not only with the quality of their ingredients but also where they came from, and their sustainability. 


Taste of Sydney’s paddock-to-the-plate representatives included 4Fourteen, 3 Blue Ducks, Biota Dining and Kitchen by Mike. 3 Blue Ducks, for example, is a self-sustainable restaurant, sourcing its ingredients from an attached 86-acre working farm. Mike McEarney is not only the head chef of Kitchen by Mike, but also the Creative Director of Carriagework’s Farmer’s Markets. 


Biota, of Sydney’s Southern Highlands, have been long heralded as a shining example of the paddock-to-the-plate movement, using only local and native ingredients. They enjoyed a roaring trade at the Taste of Sydney, selling out of their entire menu on the Friday night session. 


Above: Locally sourced prawns and corn from 3 Blue Ducks, and GreenMark cutlery

What we are beginning to see is a shift towards sustainability in Sydney’s food industry.  


But sustainability does not simply refer to agriculture. In order to be truly sustainable, the food industry must consider other factors such as transport and waste. 


With an event such as Taste of Sydney, the most likely cause of environmental damage is not the type of food served but the waste created by it. And most of the waste is made up of disposable plates, bowls and cutlery. 


That’s where GreenMark disposables come in. In order to tick every box in the paddock-to-the-plate philosophy, the food industry must make sure that food from sustainable paddocks is put onto equally sustainable plates. 




GreenMark’s sugarcane bagasse plate range being used to serve up seasonal food

GreenMark disposables are made from sugarcane bagasse, meaning that they are easily broken down and fully compostable. As such, the plates and bowls themselves can be disposed of along with food scraps and turned into compost at a commercial facility. 


But using GreenMark disposables not only results in less waste after their use. Just like the paddock-to-the-plate movement and the way it is concerned with sourcing sustainable ingredients, one must also consider the ingredients used to create food disposables, and whether those ingredients are sustainable. By utilizing annually renewable plant fibers, and agricultural waste such as bagasse, GreenMark ensures that this is the case. 


In addition to the sourcing renewable ingredients, GreenMark’s manufacturing process uses less energy and emits less pollution than those used for petroleum-based disposables. 


So this year’s Taste of Sydney showed promising signs of the food industry moving towards a more responsible, sustainable treatment of the environment. Not only by showcasing the finest paddock-to-the-plate restaurants and using locally sourced ingredients, but also by using sustainable products such as the GreenMark tableware range.   


If the food industry is going to build on these sustainable trends, it needs to take a leaf from Taste of Sydney’s menu and consider packaging as well as ingredient sourcing as a way of reducing our environmental impact.