April 18, 2019 |
Around one fifth of all greenhouse gas emissions currently arise in the food industry. From the production over processing and transport up to the consumption. So how can restaurateurs be more conscious on their establishment’s contribution to a reduction of emissions?
Shorter delivery routes are usually better
Produce that doesn’t need to be delivered from the other side of the world but instead comes from a regional producer often has a better CO2 balance. Especially products that are flown in leave a huge carbon footprint. It is better to get your ingredients from local producers as this also addresses the consumer’s desire for regional products. However, even with local produce restaurateurs and chefs need to look at the whole supply chain. The transport of highly efficiently stored frozen fish from an overseas fish farm sometimes might have a lower emission value than fresh fish caught on a diesel trawler in your neighbouring coastal area.
Fresh, not processed
Processed food goes through many industrial intermediaries that cause more emissions during transport and production. Wherever possible, regional fresh produce should be used in the instead of relying on processed food. Of course, this is not possible with all product categories but there are many possibilities for optimisation. Just check what options there are with your existing suppliers or try to find new ones that help you identify appropriate products.
Less meat = less emissions
High meat consumption means more animals are bred who then emit a lot of methane gas. Added to this are the emissions caused by the production of animal feed. According to a WWF study, nearly 70% of direct greenhouse gas emissions are caused by animal products and just under a third by vegetable products. This means restaurants need to be more conscious about the amount of meat they are using. Here, the trending shift in consumer behaviour helps, since more and more restaurants promote the usage of vegetables as an actual alternative to meat products. Through innovative cooking techniques and preparation methods well-known vegetables such as beetroot, cabbage or lettuce are plated in delicious new ways that also attract non-vegetarians.
Integrate climate awareness into your overall messaging
It’s not about permanently rubbing your customer’s nose in the topic of climate change and global warming as they are already confronted with it everywhere. But announcing and advertising in a charming way that your restaurant is doing its part can certainly have a positive effect. By carefully selecting your products and ingredients you will create a fresh, delicious and sustainable offer for the guests who are more and more conscious about the provenience of their food and its environmental footprint.