Written by our volunteer, Regina Vanda
Every day we are likely to consume palm oil that contributes to the haze. Unsustainable palm oil is in almost all the food we eat and it just seems too difficult to avoid. But difficult does not mean impossible. On June 3rd, PM.Haze organised the inaugural ‘What The Haze’ event –a social haze-free lunch where participants had a taste of haze-free food and shared food for thought about tackling the haze issue.
Generously hosted by Fill-A-Pita, the event offered most of the participants a first taste of Middle Eastern vegetarian meal which uses little to no oil. Ahmed, the owner of the restaurant, shared that only olive oil is sparingly used.
As the food was served, the conversation that started was no less interesting. In groups, participants and volunteers alike discussed animatedly about the root cause of the haze issue, what made it complicated to solve, what can be done moving forward. Drawing on the experiences of PM.Haze volunteers as well as the fresh input by participants from different walks of life, the discussion also broadened to include the general challenges faced in doing advocacy, the lifestyle and mindset of Singaporeans, as well as how these can be leveraged to promote sustainability.
One common thread explored by all the groups was the role of top-down and bottom-up initiatives in overcoming the haze problem. Whether it is individual action that can inspire larger organisations to act or efforts by food suppliers to help individuals make better choices more easily, it is clear that there is no one ‘silver bullet’ for the haze-free movement. Instead, ongoing conversation and collaboration are necessary.
‘What The Haze’ has provided the space for exactly that. Parting on a full stomach, each of us brought away many learning points and new ideas to go haze-free.
Please feel free to write to us (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you wish to organise a casual and education lunch/dinner “What the Haze” with your friends/family/colleague.