Introduction – Stop Food Waste
Given the opportunity, how would you like to engage your restaurant in something worthwhile while also increasing profitability. Today, restaurants around the country did just that by participating in “Stop Food Waste Day”. By incorporating sustainable practices into the running of your restaurant, you enhance its longevity by limiting waste and creating a loyal following of waste-conscious patrons.
The founders of Stop Food Waste Day describe its mission as, “a day of action and awareness to focus attention on the global epidemic of food waste and the solutions to combat the problem”. The goal of this initiative is to promote awareness for the tremendous amount of organic waste created by surplus food. This is done by devoting a day to zero waste. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN estimates that “Roughly one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year – approximately 1.3 billion tonnes – gets lost or wasted.” This figure can’t be ignored.
There are obvious cultural and moral benefits to saving food in a world plagued by hunger. Further, even from a purely professional standpoint, there are serious financial losses associated with surplus food waste. “Food losses and waste amounts to roughly US $ 680 billion in industrialized countries and US $ 310 billion in developing countries.” These figures are staggering. Restaurants contribute to a significant percentage of these figures. On a moral and a financial basis, you can’t afford to ignore the facts.
If this is the first you are hearing of the Stop Food Waste For a Day initiative, don’t despair. You have not missed your opportunity to participate. Although many restaurants participated today, there is no reason you can’t settle on another day to enforce a zero waste day. The experience will be challenging; however, it will also be fruitful, both in creating awareness for areas needing serious improvement, as well as recognizing that change is not beyond the scope of possibility. Visit the official website for guidance and tips to get your restaurant involved.
The Food Recovery Hierarchy, developed by the Environmental Protection Agency, offers a good snapshot of the hierarchy for dealing with surplus materials.
It may seem at first glance that concerns of environmental sustainability don’t pertain to the management of your restaurant; however, as general awareness increases, it becomes a bottom line as well as moral concern. Restaurants who turn a blind eye to the incredible need to cultivate sustainable practices cannot last.
Challenge: Review the Stop Food Waste Day with your staff and troubleshoot options for minimizing waste.
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