Monday, April 29, 2013

Rant: Boston Restaurants, Follow New York City's Lead

Consider a hypothetical restaurant which, on average, does 150 covers per night. In a week, they will do 1050 covers and in a month, that will total about 31,500 covers. Think of all the many pounds of ingredients that restaurant needs to create all those dishes. The major problem is that approximately 40% of that food will be wasted, discarded as refuse.

Where does all that trash end up? Far too often, it goes to landfills, creating larger and larger mounds of refuse.

Last summer, I ranted that Restaurants Should Cut Portion Sizes to reduce food waste. "It is estimated that over 40% of the food that is produced for consumption ends up as waste. What an incredible statistic which should bother everyone. The EPA states that in 2010, more than 34 million tons of food waste were generated." Food waste is a huge problem and needs to be addressed by everyone, from home owners to restaurants.

The New York Times recently reported that New York City acknowledged the problem of food waste, indicating that 1/3 of their 20,000 tons of daily refuse are from food waste and that restaurants account for 70% of commercial food waste. Over 100 New York City restaurants have stepped up the plate, vowing to "reduce the food waste they send to landfills by 50%" through composting and recycling. Both high end restaurants and chains will be participating, and hopefully other restaurants will join into this pledge as well.

That seems like a great start to an united effort to reduce food waste in New York City. Let us hope that other cities emulate their efforts and I am calling on all Boston restaurants to step up and make a similar pledge, to reduce their food waste by 50% through composting and recycling. I am sure there are some Boston area restaurants which already engage in such practices, such as Taranta in the North End. Chef Jose Duarte of Taranta is dedicated to making his restaurant green and sustainable, and has engaged in many beneficial practices toward that goal, including composting and recycling.

If any Boston restaurant currently practices composting and recycling, please contact me and I will add you to the post, making known your efforts to help reduce food waste. Or feel free to leave a comment on this post telling us all about your practices. If you are not composting and recycling yet, but want to start, please tell me this as well. If you don't want to compost and recycle, please step forward and tell me why you do not wish to do so.

Let us all do our part to reduce the problem of food waste.


restaurant warwick qld said...

Thanks for the post!

penny said...

The first time I heard about a place composting waste was from the Wired Puppy on Newbury Street. They had a service that was picking up their food waste.

They could probably tell you more about that effort.

KillerEatz said...

Might want to check that math. 150 covers a night X30 nights is not 31500 covers.

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