"It's not easy being Green?"
5 reasons why every restaurant and foodservice operations is challenged to become “green”
1) The supply chain is fragmented, archaic, and slow. – Ask any of your vendors where your stuff comes from and chances are they don’t exactly know. They may know the manufacturer, the brand, the broker, the logo, etc… but it will probably take them a couple of days to tell you “exactly” where it comes from or if the product contains multiple ingredients, where does each
ingredient come from. Truth is, most product travel great distances on trucks, boats, trains, etc. This consumes fuel and creates emissions. The path that most beef and poultry products take are also uncertain, if not exhaustive. For example, beef can be raised in Colorado, slaughtered in the Southeast, shipped to various warehouses nationally, then finally sent to your local distributor. To get “green” you need to know where stuff comes from. Vendors, help us out! If I want to buy local, shouldn’t there be some cost savings?
2) Where’s the trash? The average consumer has no idea what happens to their trash. Out of site out of mind. Does your trash hauler that comes to your home burn, burry, haul, or recycle your daily trash? Good question. Even at work/your restaurant/foodserive operation? Where does the trash go? If you want to be green, know where it goes and figure out how to deal with your trash more efficiently. How do you reduce it? How can you save on pickups (gas, emissions, etc.)?
3) Give me the facts. I recently watched a very informative, very convincing online seminar about the benefits and advantages of processing ALL your food waste (pre and post consumer) down the garbage disposal and into public water and sewer systems. This will reduce the amount of trash that is buried, burned, hauled, etc. This will save money! Will it? Can public water and sewer systems handle this? What burdens does this create that we don’t immediately see?
4) Kids need to catch on. My kids aren’t really “green” just yet, but I can see it coming. They talk about it in school and frankly, they have to live with our mistakes later in life, if not today. I think all schools need to add this to their curriculum just like math, English and social studies. Changing the next generations' behavior has to start at a very early age. My son takes the batteries I throw in the trash and saves them for “industrial waste” day in my town. Truth is, we could all do better in asking our children to do “one” small thing to be green (other than watching reruns of the Muppets;)-.
5) Make it taste better. I still refuse to incorporate the word “organic” into the lexicon of NexDine speak. It conjures up images of granola and berries. I like granola and berries, sometimes. But I don’t think the average hungry, beef-eatin’ consumer is that interested in granola and berries. They want thick juicy burgers, bacon, cheese and fries. So, if you want to be green, tell customers that your beef only trucked 100 miles to get here (see # 1), and tell them you bought your heirloom tomatoes from a local famer and the rolls are made in a bakery in town. All these things really do make the operation green and most importantly, it makes the food taste darn good too. Don’t buy organic because you think it’s the politically correct thing to do. Buy natural, wholesome, sustainable foods and prepare/cook the heck out of it so people will love it (and come back for more).
Till NeX time! - David
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Thanks for reading.