Farm To Table
The Mahota Farm
At first glance, a new hotpot restaurant may not be the most enthralling of news in a city renowned for them, but look closer at Shanghai’s The Mahota Farm and you realise you’re actually witnessing the beginnings of a sea change, not only in the dining scene, but right through the food production line to source. With the world’s ever-increasing interest in slow food, locavorism, and animal welfare, it would seem logical to formulate a brand that encapsulated all three. Which is exactly where Singaporean Tan Hong Khoon’s Mahota Farm comes in, located on Shanghai’s Chongming Island, this ‘closed-loop’ sustainable farming enterprise not only provides the ingredients for the hotpot restaurant, but also for the connected farm-to-table grocery store too.
The closed-loop system is simple: practice multi-cropping and crop rotation without the use of chemicals and pesticides, forming the foodstuff for your pigs (in this case, 20,000 of them), which in turn supply not only meat, but also return the raw material needed for compost, fertilising the land and thus completing the circle. There are not many hotpot restaurants on the planet that can lay bragging rights about knowing precisely how their pork was raised and vegetables grown, but in the Mahota Farm store you can QR scan the produce to find out not only what plot of land it was grown on, but also who harvested it. Accountability and sustainability never tasted so good!