All across the country in various sectors of foodservice, the reduction of food waste is becoming a top priority.
From the recent National School Lunch Program Equipment Grants that are designed to help increase foodservice efficiencies in school cafeterias to government efforts to reduce food waste by 50 percent by the year 2030, food waste reduction is a hot topic. This includes the restaurant and hospitality industries.
According to the National Restaurant Association (NRA) and its partner in a 2014 study, the Food Waste Reduction Alliance, food waste is gaining awareness as part of both environmental sustainability programs and community service efforts. In fact, as many as 60 percent of the restaurants surveyed donate leftover food or recycle food waste. But what about the other 40 percent? Why aren't they involved in these activities?
According to the study, 64 percent of respondents said there are barriers to donating food, and as many as 92 percent said there are barriers to recycling food waste. These include:
Barriers to Donating
- Transportation constraints
- Insufficient onsite storage
- Liability issues
- Regulatory constraints
Barriers to Recycling
- Insufficient options for recycling
- Transportation constraints
- Management/building constraints
But when food waste is avoided and unused food products are either donated or recycled, what actions are actually taken? Of all the study participants, the highest activities were tracking of food waste and recycling of fats, oils and grease. Almost 75 percent of all respondents listed these two as current activities. In addition, 22 percent donate leftover food to charities and 17 percent compost their food waste.
While these numbers are encouraging, the National Restaurant Association, along with the Food Waste Reduction Alliance, is working to decrease food waste by working a variety of fronts. From industry collaboration to changing policies at both state and federal levels, the NRA hopes to continue this trend toward reducing food waste.
The association is also working to improve logistics in the foodservice industry by helping their partners and member operators overcome both transportation and food storage limitations. An important way to improve storage capabilities and decrease waste is to actually figure out a way to store foods longer. This will inevitably save the operators money while cutting down on wasted product.
An Air Purification System can be an important part of these logistical solutions. For example, the right Air Purification System can allow operators to store produce up to twice as long in existing spaces.
Learn more about Air Purification Systems, and discover new ways to reduce food waste immediately.
Read our Intro to Air Purification, and learn how a plain, small box can be placed inside a walk-in refrigerator to extend the life of produce by up to twice as long. Read the Introduction to the Franke Air Purification System, and discover this 2015 Kitchen Innovations Award winner.