Call for hospitality industry to reduce food waste
With at least 40% of the food purchased as stock for restaurants, cafes and foodservice businesses going to waste, culinary institute Le Cordon Bleu Brisbane is now calling on the hospitality industry to do its part in reducing the negative environmental impacts of food wastage.
An estimated 7.3 tonnes of food is thrown out by Australians each year, and with food waste generating 8% of the greenhouse gas emissions which contribute to global warming, Le Cordon Bleu Technical Director Tom Milligan believes restaurants and caterers have an obligation to help combat these confronting statistics.
“As those working within the foodservice industry, we have an obligation to foster a sustainable industry with minimal impact,” Milligan said. “We as businesses need to incorporate an ethical food philosophy and social responsibility charter.
“Poor stock management, storage and handling practices are some of the biggest drivers of waste in our industry, which is why sustainability practices should be integrated across the hospitality industry now — not only to minimise environmental impact but food waste reduction strategies can help improve profit margins.
“In recent years, sustainability has been top of mind in the hospitality industry and there are a lot of companies out there adopting incredibly innovative practices to reduce the problem. However, the industry still has a long way to go. Food waste is an ongoing issue but one that all hospitality operators, cooks and chefs should work toward minimising.
“Recycling and the use of biodegradable and compostable packaging is a must. Businesses should also be considering a carefully curated menu which can help with stock management to minimise food spoilage.”
Milligan said Le Cordon Bleu’s cooking philosophy has always had the notion of sustainability steeped into its teaching.
“We educate our students to ‘think global by acting local’ and remind them that by adopting practices to minimise food waste means minimum harm and maximum enjoyment for everyone,” he said.
“For example, most of our schools have kitchen gardens and we compost our organic waste. We are very conscious of the food miles and always try to buy locally grown and sourced ingredients from sustainable sources.
“Le Cordon Bleu is proud to be at the forefront of ethically responsible food preparation and, by incorporating sustainable methods in our classrooms, our students will help reduce the impact that food waste currently has on the world and well into the future.”
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