For several years now, corporations and educational facilities have been placing a greater emphasis on sustainability in dining. As a contract food services company serving a wide array of industries for decades, we know the impact of making better choices not only on the health and wellness of Americans, but on our environment.
For example, most people know that eating a lot of red meat, such as beef, isn’t healthy. Many colleges around the country have now gone to “meatless Monday” on school campuses not only because of ethics and the impact to health, but the impact to our forests. You may not be aware of it, but cattle ranching to provide beef is a huge driver of deforestation, and forests help clean and purify the air we breathe, among other things.
How can those in the corporate and education sectors move toward improved sustainability in dining? While it’s a substantial change from the way we’ve been used to eating for decades, it really isn’t all that difficult. By focusing on healthy food choices and implementing sustainable food service practices, you can help ensure better health in the work or school environment while helping conserve natural resources and reducing your carbon footprint.
Healthy food choices include seasonal fruits and vegetables that are locally grown when possible, vegetarian menu options, whole grain pastas and breads, foods that contain less salt, those free of synthetic (man-made) sources of trans fats, cereals that are low in sugar and high in fiber, low-fat dairy, and lean meat entrees.
As far as sustainable practices, corporate and student dining should move away from Styrofoam or other materials for serving that aren’t compostable. Styrofoam is polystyrene, a type of plastic that is not viable as a biodegradable product because of the time it takes to break down. For this reason, it’s best to offer plates, bowls, flatware, and trays created of materials that are biodegradable and compostable. You may also want to consider offering incentives when students or faculty use beverage containers that are reusable, rather than plastic or Styrofoam that end up in the trash before going to landfills.
Sustainability in dining sounds like a lot of effort, but it really isn’t that difficult – and it’s essential for our health and environment. At Gourmet Services Inc. we provide fresh, healthy menu choices and unmatched quality in everything we do. If you’re in search of a contract food services company who will focus on your unique needs and preferences, contact us today!