Green Business Ideas: Sustainable Food Prep and Cooking Instruction

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For the foodie who also likes to teach, this green business idea offers a chance to bring both of those skills together and use them to get people re-involved and re-excited about their food, using sustainability and the seasonal nature of produce to eat more consciously.

Many people want to learn to eat in a more eco-friendly manner these days, but will oftentimes default back to their usual habits if they don’t feel like they have enough knowledge about sustainable food prep, so becoming a cooking instructor that focuses on seasonal, earth-friendly, and local ingredients is a great way to educate and inspire more people to change their diets and behaviors.

1. What is sustainable food prep and cooking instruction?

Helping people learn how to prepare their own delicious and sustainable food with low environmental impact can be a very rewarding profession.  You will teach people how to select local, seasonal, and organic ingredients, including tips on how to save money doing so (thus making it affordable to anyone, not just the eco-elite).  You can instruct them on raw food prep, and vegetarian/vegan cooking to create scrumptious, low-carbon meals.  You have many options of how you will do this, whether it’s with individuals or small groups, in a restaurant or home kitchen, and as a one-time or ongoing basis.  No matter how you do it, you can see people light up as they discover how to bring healthy, yummy, and sustainable food into their lives.

2. What required knowledge or skills are necessary?

There are no formal educational or training requirements for sustainable food prep.  All it takes is the ability to demonstrate how to source, select, and prepare eco-friendly foods.  A good book to read to get you started is the Eco Foods Guide.

3. How much money is required to start?

$   (on a scale of $ to $$$$$) If your kitchen is already well-equipped, and you can find a free or low-cost location to present your class, the only cost could be buying the ingredients up front.

4. What is the income potential?

$-$$   (on a scale of $ to $$$$$) The income potential for this green business idea depends on how many people you can attract to your sustainable food prep class, and how often you can offer it, but cultivating private clients can add a lot more variety and income, as well as collaborating with a local kitchen store to offer a series of classes.

5. What is the best location for this business?

Urban (best), semi-urban (very good), suburbs (very good), rural (fair/poor).

6.  Three best questions to ask yourself to find out if this business is right for you (if you can answer yes to all three, this business might be for you):

  • Do you enjoy teaching?
  • Do you have a passion for healthy food?
  • Are you in a position where you can start a business that might take 10-20 hours per week and not pay very much, at least at the beginning?

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About the Author

lives in southwestern New Mexico and digs bicycles, simple living, organic gardening, sustainable lifestyle design, slacklining, bouldering, and permaculture. He loves good food, with fresh roasted chiles at the top of his list of favorites. Catch up with Derek on Twitter, RebelMouse, Google+, or at his natural parenting site, Natural Papa!