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Slaprea 2019: Love for food, love for nature

Srey Kumneth / Khmer Times Share:
Sam Kimhong, leader of the Waste Management Team. KT/Srey Kumneth

Bigger and better, Slaprea 2019 gave yet again another weekend filled with fun, tasty and diverse food for locals and foreigners at the Olympic Stadium. The food festival, now on its third year, continuously strives to become one of the least environmentally wasteful and safest food events within in Asia.

Galeno Chua, principal of The Idea Consultancy Co., Ltd., said that the food festival was meant to support and encourage people to try new flavours and styles of cooking Khmer, Thai, Korean, Indian and Western food and beverages. The Idea is the brain behind Slaprea.

“All the food and the cooks here gave priority to hygiene. Khmer food and Western food were cleaned and cooked well. But what we’re really aiming is to let foreigners taste Cambodian food such as ah mok and louk lark,” Mr Chua said during Saturday’s food expo.

There were over 180 food and beverage stalls scattered around Olympic Stadium for the two-day affair, giving everyone a myriad of options on what food to taste first. Several games and competitions were also organised to keep the mood upbeat throughout the day.

But more than offering great food choices, Slaprea’s focus is on waste management. This annual festival was made to encourage students and young Khmers to help clean up their environment and produce minimal wastes in all that they do – including cooking. During this year’s event, people were instructed to put their wastes and garbage into designated trash bins in the Olympic Stadium, and not on the track or the bleachers.

Sam Kimhong, the young team leader of the Waste Management Team, has gathered nine members who worked, managed and gathered plastic wastes around the venue.

“We volunteered to help clean up the venue and pick up plastics. We put up three trash bins and labeled them properly so people would know where to drop their garbage. The three trash bins were made to look different so people could easily identify them.”

The three bins – one for cans and bottles, one for organic wastes, and one for paper and Styrofoam – were placed in strategic places around the Olympic Stadium.

Kimhong added that water stations were also set up near the bins for hand-washing. The team also pushed forth hygiene – cleaning the hands properly before taking food into their mouth.

Slaprea, which currently stands as the largest food festival in Cambodia, will continue its mission to gather people who love to eat – and push them beyond mere eating, but to be responsible eaters and consumers.

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