The Food Channel just released its top 10 food trends for 2010. The findings are based on research conducted in conjunction with CultureWaves and the International Food Futurists. One of the top 10 trends is "Mainstreaming Sustainability." According to the Food Channel, "People have mainstreamed sustainability, unlike a year ago, when we were somewhat afraid to use the word. America is just now learning how to be sustainable, and Americans are holding themselves responsible. In 2010 we'll see people and companies becoming sustainable for authentic reasons."
The Food Channel's findings jibe with those of the National Restaurant Association (NRA). In early December the NRA revealed that local sourcing of ingredients, sustainability and nutrition will be the hottest trends on restaurant menus in 2010. (See article.) The NRA surveyed more than 1,800 chefs.
With such prominent organizations as the Food Channel and the NRA stating that sustainability is hot, how should one react if one runs a food and beverage operation? Understanding what sustainability means when it comes to food and beverages is extremely important. Knowing where your food comes from (local is better), how it was produced (organic is preferred), and how workers were treated along the way is key. Ensuring energy and water efficiency in the kitchen, minimizing waste (recycling cooking oil and composting food waste), and using green cleaning products is also important. These are just a few examples.
What are you doing to make your food and beverage operation more sustainable?