When looking at vegetarian dishes on a menu at restaurants or eateries, you will probably find that they are priced almost the same as, or even more expensive than, meat ones. You might then feel bewildered: obviously, the cost of planting vegetables is much lower than raising livestock. Then why are the vegetarian options in restaurants not cheaper than meat? The key lies in the shelf. Since vegetables cannot be kept frozen like meat, the shelf life of vegetables is far shorter. This does not only cause a surge in the cost of discarding, but also engenders plenty of food scraps from wholesale markets, supermarkets, and restaurants that are transported into landfill every day.
Food preservation has been one of the biggest challenges in handling food. From picking in ancient time to chemicals and thermal sterilization in recent decades – though delaying the expiration date – these methods cannot conserve the original structures of food, destroying the nutrients and tastes. Fortunately, such an overwhelming obstacle can be overcome by the recent introduction of High Pressure Processing (HPP), which kills microorganisms with high pressure under low temperature.
If you have tried Common Good Juice, Green Common’s own-brand cold-pressed juice , you might have been surprised by its 90-day shelf life while the juice is labeled as 100% natural and without high-temperature processing. What lengthens the freshness date – from 2-3 days to a durability 40 times longer – and keeps Common Good Juice 99.9% similar with fresh juice in terms of taste? The top secret underlying the breakthrough is HPP.
Making use of pressure five times stronger than that under 10000 ft-depth sea, HPP squeezes and destroys the structure of bacteria inside the juice. Sterilization, therefore, undergoes without heating. The structures of the thermal-susceptible particles such as enzymes, vitamins, and minerals are well-preserved. Recently, the Green Common team visited the INVO HPP plant in Shanghai. What impressed us the most was the lunch the plant prepared for us – a delicious fresh-taste potato dish stir-fried with vegetables which was cooked two months ago but preserved with HPP and re-heated at that time.
Just imagine: what will happen if HPP technology matures in the future? We will see there are HPP machines on each farm, wholesale market, market, supermarket, and even restaurant; the amount of food wastes will plummet while chefs no longer have to feel headache about the storage of fruits and vegetables; and finally, the cost of providing veggie dishes will slump. Then that will be the day when more affordable vegetarian dishes will be available for the general public and green eating will become even more common, which is one of the objectives of Green Monday.