How Restaurants Are Reducing Food Waste
The average American restaurant can produce up to 150,000 pounds of garbage per year and much of that is food that’s still edible. But a national movement and fired-up consumer base are inspiring restaurants to re-think their buying, cooking and disposing processes in order to cut back on food waste.
Here are just some of the ways restaurants in the United States are doing their part:
They make meals out of food waste. Besides throwing away produce that doesn’t look pretty, some stores are quick to toss fruits and veggies because of overstocked displays. They even get rid of perfectly fine foods because of busted packaging. Restaurants like Saucy by Nature in Brooklyn, NY combat food waste by using leftover ingredients. Chefs like April Bloomfield lead a nose-to-tail and root-to-leaf philosophy in the kitchen.
They partner up with food rescue programs. Even well-meaning chefs can be left with a heap of food waste from customers who simply don’t finish their meals. Or, sometimes, there’s just a surplus of goods. Community Plates is an organization that recovers and distributes this extra food from restaurants to the hungry. Nationally, Rock and Wrap It Up! boxes up and divvies out prepared meals that they collect from major events and from hotels and schools.
They re-purpose the food waste! Through anaerobic digestion, restaurants can turn their food waste into clean, renewable energy. The process breaks down food and other organic waste into methane and carbon dioxide that’s fully captured and then turned into power, radiant heat and natural gas. Renergy hauls food and biosolids from restaurants in its CNG trucks, processing it into renewable resources and keeping food out of landfills.
Lean more about how Renergy turns food waste into energy.