One of the greatest concerns of our time is waste. Or rather, the management of it. We have the seas and oceans more and more full of plastics. Plastics that we consume and discard as if there were no tomorrow. Plastics that are not always necessary to pack and that most of the time go to the wrong container. In our domestic kitchens and in the professional ones.
We are advancing. We have achieved that in Spain we already recycle 77.1% of plastic containers, cans and bricks, and paper and cardboard containers.
In 2017, each inhabitant deposited 13.96 kg of plastic containers, cans and bricks in the yellow container (+ 5.76% in 2016) and 16.1 kg (+ 3.87% more than in 2016) in the blue container, throughout the national territory. This has been possible thanks to the collaboration of 47 million citizens, 8,000 municipalities and more than 12,000 companies. Specifically, through the network of 378,272 yellow containers and 212,852 blue containers distributed throughout the Spanish geography (12,893 more than the previous year), it has been achieved that 99% of Spaniards have access to the selective collection of this waste, with an average of one container every 100 meters.
The time has come to get going and start analyzing everything we throw away. All.
HOW TO GIVE RETURN TO THE RESIDUES OF YOUR RESTAURANT?
The waste of restaurants can be divided into two main groups: those that are generated before the consumption of dishes such as skins, peels, roots of vegetables or bones, improperly prepared food, liquids and food spilled accidentally on the kitchen floor … and those that are generated later, that is to say, the leftovers along with the containers in case that in your restaurant you are using disposable containers, as well as plates or plastic cutlery and glasses or paper place mats.
The first step is to know where we are, what level of waste we have.
Start by auditing your waste and get fully into your garbage. This waste audit will give you information about the amount of garbage your restaurant creates and the amount of waste that can be reduced through good waste management practice, recycling and reuse. Depending on the capacity of the restaurant and the scope of the operations carried out, it allocates one or more people to manage the waste audit, but always nominates a person responsible to lead the work (because tasks without responsibility are tasks that never get done). Choose people with an analytical spirit.
The first phase is to classify the waste using different containers for food packaging, glass, paper, plastic bottles or organic waste from the kitchen, the remains of food not consumed, all green foods that can go to composting … These main categories can be divided into subcategories such as meat, fresh fruits and vegetables, large plastic bottles, small plastic bottles, etc. To more categories and subcategories, better image of the type and amount of waste generated.
Take note, that is, measure the results. You will be surprised.
MEASURES AGAINST FOODWASTE IN THE RESTAURANT
After performing the waste audit and determining the type and quantity, you must take concrete measures to reduce it. What can you do from now on?
A change in the menu? Identify the menu items of the restaurant that usually have the most leftovers and consider reducing the portion size of these menu items. In this way, you will not only reduce the amount of waste, but you will also reduce the cost of cooking food and automatically increase profits.
Improve purchases? If some of the ingredients you use to prepare meals are often wasted because you cannot spend them before the expiration of their validity period, consider purchasing those ingredients in smaller packages. It is not true that it is cheaper to buy in large quantities if a part, in the end, goes to the garbage.
Educate your staff with appropriate practical training on the rules of movement in the kitchen or the front of the house. Each of them must be familiar with the rules of movement in the room or kitchen, while preparing meals or drinks. For example, the workers in the front of the house must learn to move around in a circle, to respect the sequence of actions at the bar and to avoid unnecessary knocks that result in slower service and frequent spills of drinks.
To invest? Invest in quality kitchen equipment, equipment that your staff uses for food preparation and processing. Use specialized knives to peel fruits and vegetables or knives to fillet and cut meat or fish. These seemingly small differences in the amount of food waste, over a prolonged period have a large impact in the reduction of waste. And in the increase of your profits.
Improve storage? An adequate storage system includes the cleaning of fruits and vegetables, as well as using appropriate containers and in the appropriate place, with the mandatory labels with the date of storage. Regularly rotate the food in the chambers and the warehouse. Place the foods that should be used first ahead of the foods that are stored again.
Do inventories? With the help of specific software for the restaurant that has the ability to work with several stores, so that you can do it quickly and efficiently and have an idea of the products consumed daily, you will identify the need for new purchases in an appropriate time . In addition, the software of your restaurant will give you the ability to correct your stocks and record the expenses in cases the goods should be discarded due to inadequate storage, expiration date, etc. If you take inventory regularly, you will avoid the creation of unnecessary products that often result in food spoilage and large economic losses.
You are also interested in reading … Foodwaste: Ugly apples are also good
INVOLVING THE TEAM: THE KEY TO FIGHT FOODWASTE
And above all … Involve your team. The good will and predisposition of your employees is very important for success. They must understand the importance of waste evaluation. For better performance and commitment, explain why they are doing the audit and the benefits of these programs.
Rules on how to manage waste in the restaurant should be an integral part of the equipment manual. All employees should receive training on how to work with the waste, regardless of whether they work in the kitchen, bar or service room. Yes, it is necessary to educate all team members about the methods of control, storage and recycling.
In this video you can see the fabulous example of a Chicago restaurant that managed to dramatically reduce its waste.
HEALTHY = STOP FOODWASTE? WHAT IS HIDDEN BEHIND THE NEW FEEDING OPTIONS
While I was documenting for this article, I found an interesting counterpoint in El Mundo and its article The dark side of vegetarians: neither more ecological nor more healthy (which you can read by clicking).
In conclusion, I leave you some excerpts from the article that have caught my attention and made me reflect.
According to several studies, food production should grow up to 50% to meet the demands of the population. How can we stop before reaching that point of no return? If, according to the FAO, 815 million people go hungry today, how many will die of starvation in 2050?
Until we understand what is causing that destruction we will not be able to stop it. I’m talking specifically about agriculture. ” Most vegans believe that their plant-based diet is the best they can do to stop the ecological disaster. “And they are completely wrong, not because of their values, which are perfectly valid, but because they do not understand that agriculture is the most destructive thing that humans have done to the planet,” according to Lierre Keith, feminist writer and ecologist, author of vegetarian myth (Captain Swing)
Luis Ferreirim, spokesperson for Greenpeace Agriculture, agrees with Keith that “one of the great problems of industrial agriculture is uniformity. They are crops that generate a brutal dependence on synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, which causes very large ecological imbalances. This has serious consequences for the environment, from direct contamination of soil and water, to putting at risk species as fundamental to agriculture as pollinators. “
Extensive livestock, the polyculture of perennial plants and the consumption of proximity are the most effective weapons, according to them, in this fight for the sustainability of the planet and its inhabitants.
It makes you think, right?
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