U.S. restaurants produce an estimated 571,000 tons of waste annually. That’s a lot of wasted food and money. There are several things that can be done to help reduce food waste in your business and at home.
Performing an audit of your waste to determine where the most waste is coming from can help to determine how best to prevent the waste in the first place. Maybe you’re over-buying a certain item. Determining the products that you over buy can lead to savings and reduced waste. Other waste that you may view as garbage, like potato peels or bones can be used in inventive recipes, to make stock, put in a compost pile or recycled. If you run a restaurant, keeping an eye on the food that customers leave behind can also show you where can cut back on portion sizes or maybe make a menu change.
Proper care and storage of food can also help to reduce food waste. Keeping food in airtight containers to prevent oxidation will help extend the shelf life on your product. Products like Cambro‘s Seal Covers and Colander Pans can help keep food fresh longer. Labeling food with day dots and using a first in, first out system can also cut back on wasted food. You can view a few great videos Cambro has produced on extending the shelf life of food using their products at savethegreens.today.
Many restaurants have committed to donating food that would otherwise be thrown out. Donating food that is not going to be used is a great way to reduce waste and give back at the same time. This was the idea behind Feeding the 5000, a campaign to shine a light on global food waste, champion delicious solutions and be a catalyst for a global movement. At each event, a delicious communal feast for 5,000 people is made entirely out of food that would otherwise have been wasted. Here is a link to the Feeding the 5000 toolkit to help start a Feeding the 5000 event in your area.
And if you are really passionate about reducing waste, find inspiration from this great article NPR wrote on a few restaurants and bars doing their part to come as close to zero waste as possible. Warriors Against Waste: These Restaurants and Bars Are Aiming For Zero. What do you do to cut back on or eliminate waste?