International Chefs Day: How restaurant chefs can make eating out more sustainable
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Today is International Chefs Day!
Like last year, the theme for International Chefs Day this year is ‘Healthy Food for the Future’. Through this theme, chefs across the world are spreading the message about the impact that the production and consumption of food have on the environment.
There are many ways to participate in International Chefs Day. Usually, chefs from all over the world host events to promote the profession, hold culinary competitions, and communicate with children about healthy eating through presentations. In celebration of this year’s theme, we look at how chefs at restaurants can make eating out more sustainable.
What does restaurant sustainability actually mean?
It means a conscious effort to reduce your environmental impact by reducing food wastage, excess packaging, and a commitment to shortening your supply chain, recycling, and supporting sustainable food production.
Celebrate local, seasonal food
Food in season, grown locally, is more likely to be fresher than produce that has travelled miles in a cooler. Avoiding air-freighted food makes environmental sense. Local food in season can be more cost-effective than imported food that’s out-of-season. Make seasonal menus by looking at what is growing in the fields. If you have the space, create a kitchen garden for unbeatable freshness. Grow herbs on a window-sill and see the difference it makes to a dish.
Less meat and dairy
Experts reveal that having fewer meat-based and more plant-based dishes on the menu can help your sustainability efforts massively. Why? Because of their huge reliance on environmental resources. A study by the University of Oxford found that meat and dairy provided just 18% of the world’s calories but accounted for 83% of the farmland and 60% of agriculture’s greenhouse gases.
Reflecting on sustainability
Before implementing sustainable business practices at the restaurant, think about why you want to do so. Sustainability is a mindset. It’s something you should be committed to, not just for marketing purposes, but because you actually want to improve the environment, create a positive employee culture, support local farmers and businesses, and serve delicious, fresh food to the guests.