It is no brainer that, we waste huge amounts of food. More food reaches landfills than any other type of solid waste. The high percentage of food that is grown, processed, and transported in the UK will never be consumed, whereas a great population in the world goes hungry every day. There are also many environmental impacts to the food waste. Decomposing food in landfills releases a greenhouse gas, methane. Uneaten food in this country uses our freshwater resources and total oil consumption in the whole process.
When people come together for events that include food service, inevitably food waste will be generated, but there are certain things planners can do to mitigate the impact. Here are the handy tips for minimising and handling the food waste.
1. Make food waste reduction, and diversion should be a part of your catering planning from the beginning. Planning as per the number of guests, venue and budget, helps to cut down the food waste.
2. Learning from the past events helps. Track and review the data of attendance and consumption from past events. This data will assist in determining the type and exact quantities of food to order. Take your time to refresh buffets and self-service stations too soon. Our goal should be to offer just the right amount. So help service staff to know when you want them to refresh and that it is okay to have the food diminish.
3. Choose in-season food that can be obtained from local vendors to minimise the carbon footprint. Also, consider combining ingredients that consume fewer resources. Vegetarian selections can be made less resource-intensive than proteins and chicken have lower water as well as carbon footprints than other types of meat.
4. Think about how the flow of meals might allow the caterer to make use of the leftover food, such as using any unserved vegetables from the dinner buffet as a soup-starter the next day or turning remaining bread into croutons.
5. Use reusable plates and flatware whenever possible. For disposables, choose serving utensils that can be easily recycled or composted and that are produced by a vendor that minimises the use of water and chemicals in production. Avoid packaging such as wrappers, plastic bags, and foil that can’t be recycled or composted.
6. Offer hydration stations and tumblers or pitchers of water rather using single-use bottled water.
7. Select caterers and venues that support sustainability initiatives and ask if they have relationships with local food pantries and can coordinate food donations. Check online resources and find a database of agencies and food banks that accept donated food. As part of your food waste reduction strategy, you must consider the food donation programmes. Several cities in the UK allow second harvests to ensure that leftover food can make it to those who are less fortunate and are in need of food. You should also make sure that food is saved in proper containers so that they can be consumed later through food donation. Labelling of leftover food will help you keep track of all the food that has been wasted at an event and how much has gone through the food donation channel.
8. Add a compost receptacle right next to the traditional trash and recycling cans.
9. Communicate with your guests about food waste before, during, and after your event. At the event, use signage to educate guests on your sustainability efforts, and after the event, share your collected food data with them.
At Venue 5 in West London, we take food wastage very seriously and often come up with new strategies to help the hosts to cut down the wastage of food at their events. Venue 5 is one of the most preferred'venue hire' in Ruislip and famed for our superior quality outside Indian catering service in Ruislip.