Throwing out uneaten food may start people rambling that in other parts of the world, people are starving. While it’s an issue that needs solving, rethinking food waste can benefit you and your immediate environment.
Food Waste – The Stats
Can you guess, how much food we waste each year?
In Europe and North-America people throw away 95-115 kg of food per capita according to FAO’s statistics.
Their Asian counterparts, however, are a little bit more conscious about their meal planning; they only create 6-11 kg of food waste per year.
Globally speaking, we are putting the third of our food in the trash, approximately 1.3 billion tones.
Surprisingly, only 35% of our food waste is accounted for perishable meats and dairy products; we are mostly throwing away cereals, root crops, fruits, vegetables and oil seeds.
Above all, the food service industry faces the biggest challenges in cutting back on food waste – besides sustainability concerns, the issue affects business performance. For restaraunts predicting the needs of their customers and avoiding food waste can be difficult.
Fortunately, some restaurants have already found clever ways to solve these problems. Let’s see some real-life examples!
Compost for life (England)
Arthur Potts Dawson, a master chef with a vision to create the sustainable restaurants of the future, minimizes food waste by composting leftovers. The same compost is then used to grow the vegetables for the restaurant.
His mantra is:
“Nature doesn’t create waste.”
In addition, he aims to educate his customers as well by encouraging them to order only what they can eat.
Reuse, Reduce, Share, Repeat (England)
The restaurant, Silo, is a one-of-a-kind initiative, thanks to their strategy to “Reuse, Reduce, Share, Repeat”.
Besides using recycled materials for serving their customers, they also pay attention to food production.
The restaurant’s brewery produces fermented drinks by using foraged and intercepted plants, vegetables, fruits. As for their meat, they believe that animals who “die” for our meals deserve to be maximally processed – leaving little to go to waste.
Dinner for two (India)
Pappadavada, a restaurant in India, has recently started a community initiative to ask their customers to put leftover food in a fridge outside the restaurant.
The refrigerator provides food for the hungry, and is open 24-hours a day for the whole week.
Minu Pauline, the owner, states that:
“Money is yours, but resources belong to society.”
She is not the only one to think that way – in the neighbourhood, people are also paying attention to wrap their food in order to reserve its quality for the people in need.
Doggy treats-to-go (Hungary)
Some years ago in Hungary, OS Kantine launched a city wide initiative to distribute leftover meals to city pets. Participating restaurants were to put fridges outside their places, filled with dated meal boxes.
After a brief registration, pet owners could open up the fridge and take out the delicious treats for their pets. The project’s designer had thought about the environmental aspects as well: after their abundant feast, pet owners had to return the boxes clean.
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Photo of Arthur Potts Dawson: Daily Mail; http://tiny.cc/bkmnay
Photo of Silo’s brewers: Silo Brighton’s Facebook page; http://tiny.cc/okmnay
Photo of Pappadavada: Minu Pauline’s Facebook page; http://tiny.cc/smmnay
Photo of Pet it Fridge: We Love Budapest; http://tiny.cc/7mmnay
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