7 Takeaways From The Latest and Tastiest TEDx Salon In Malta

You can learn a lot about Maltese food in one talk

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The latest TEDxUniversityofMalta salon on food sustainability in Malta and the surrounding region led to some very easy ways for people in Malta to live and eat more sustainably, Maltese style.

Food is an essential aspect of everyone's lives, and the food industry is larger and more global than ever. Everything from the dairy industry to water wastage to fish farms was covered in the discussion, with some great recommendations for attendees to go home with.

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Three local food industry insiders spoke at the salon - JD Farrugia, Director of Fish4Tomorrow; Stephen La Rosa, Chief Culinary Officer of the Mediterranean Culinary Academy; and Dr. Andrew Cachia, a veterinary surgeon that works with the Pulled Meat Company, which was also the venue for the salon. 

Just in case you didn't make it to the talk, here are seven of the most important recommendations from yesterday's salon.

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1. Eat more mackerel

It turns out that out of all the fish in the Maltese seas, Malta's favourite fish is salmon. Salmon is not caught locally and needs to be imported, as are other fish.

If you love fish, try choosing a more local and sustainable type of fish, like mackerel, which is found in abundance in Maltese waters. 

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Grilled mackerel with beetroot and new potato salad

2. Be mindful of where your food comes from

Some people mentioned how Benna, Malta's milk producers, have removed cows from their latest packaging. This is just one thing that leads to a disconnect between people and where their food comes from.

It is important to remember that an animal was killed for the meat you are eating, and that pregnant cows were milked in a factory so you could have that chocolate milkshake. 

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No more cows

3. Think twice before you choose milk-fed veal

The veal industry is practically a by-product of the dairy industry, with the pregnant cows who give milk birthing these male calves destined to become veal.

After the male calves are removed from their mothers at birth, they are fed on a milk formula supplement, which leads to their meat becoming ivory-white. People really like that. 

Because the calf is killed at a very young age - from one month onwards - they haven't had a chance to exercise its muscles, further contributing to the white colour of the meat.

Milk Fed Veal Calves

4. Try becoming a 'weekday vegetarian'

More and more people who find it hard to give up meat are becoming 'weekday vegetarians' - that is, they only eat meat on the weekends.

5. Eat outside of your comfort zone

There are many less popular cuts of meat that you can get from the butcher for a low price, things like offal and liver, that can be turned into healthy and tasty dishes.

Some of these cuts are gaining in popularity, with things like oxtail and beef cheeks trending right now when years ago they would be among some of the cheapest cuts available. 

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Braised beef cheek

6. Re-adjust your definition of 'local'

In this brave new global world, every country is connected. That's why we need to start thinking regionally. 

Food from countries close to Malta - like Italy, Tunisia, and Greece - should also be considered 'local' foods, and should be your go-to choice over faraway countries like Japan or New Zealand. 

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7. And if you are thinking of farming in Malta, you have to get innovative

With farm land selling at a high price, and many farmers finding it harder to stay in business after being set in their ways for so long, any young Maltese farmer needs to think outside the box. 

Using innovative techniques like hydroponics, doing market research to find out what the most valuable produce is, and working with the correct organisations, hotels, and retailers are just some of the ways a young Maltese farmer can get a successful new farming business on its way. 

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Written By

Johnathan Cilia

Johnathan is interested in the weird, dark, and wonderful contradictions our late-capitalist society forces upon us. He also likes music and food. Contact him at [email protected]

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