What is sustainability? In the past, the concept could be summed up with the old “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” mantra. Many food service providers embraced these tenets by replacing Styrofoam cups, eliminating unnecessary packaging and offering recycling bins for bottles and cans.
These are all worthy improvements that have had a positive impact on the environment, but it’s no longer enough to just offer recycled paper products. As the green movement has grown over the years, savvy customers have increasingly supported businesses that are committed to sustainability, and they have begun looking for an even greater commitment to eco-friendly practices.
For food service providers, the next phase of sustainability has to do with food itself. Making the most of organically-raised and locally-sourced ingredients will do right by the environment and offer customers a premium product that they will feel good about purchasing.
Though organic produce and proteins can cost more, many customers feel good about supporting sustainable agricultural practices. Organic farmers reduce the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers, and pesticide-free produce puts customers at ease knowing that they are at no risk of ingesting harmful chemicals. Best of all, a recent study has found that organic foods contain higher concentrations of healthful antioxidants and lower concentrations of harmful cadmium. Eating organic food isn’t just good for the environment; it’s good for the overall health and well-being of your customers.
Sourcing ingredients from local farmers can also have a positive impact on the environment. Locally-grown food doesn’t require fossil fuel for transportation and en-route refrigeration. Local farmers tend to grow seasonal crops that are less resource intensive as they are less likely to require additional irrigation or artificial heat or light sources. Supporting local farmers can also have a positive impact by keeping dollars in the local economy. Educated consumers are very interested in the ways in which businesses give back to their communities, and supporting local agriculture offers them food that they can feel good about.
Once your business has committed to providing customers with high-quality organic and locally-grown foods, it’s important to protect your investment. Using Cambro Food Pans along with Seal Covers extends product freshness because of the tight-fitting inner seal on the lid, saving the greens and saving you some green$! It also enhances food safety by preventing cross-contamination.
Cambro’s Colander Kits also help reduce food waste by allowing juices to drain away from meats and produce, into the food box, keeping your ingredients dry. This maintains freshness and reduces spoilage.
With customer’s heightened expectations from Sustainability 2.0, foodservice operators can do the right thing for the environment by taking the next step in their business– supporting sustainable agriculture by preparing organic and locally-grown foods, and by using products that will help prolong their shelf-life and reduce waste. Doing so will prove to be a win-all for your business, your customers and the planet.
Visit www.cambro.com/sustainability for the latest on Cambro’s sustainability efforts.