6 tips to reduce your foodprint while dining out

November 1, 2018 by  
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When you eat at home, it is relatively easy to make choices that will lower your ‘foodprint,’ because you are in charge of the shopping, preparation and disposal of all the food. But when you eat out at a restaurant or grab takeout, it is much more difficult to eat sustainably. To make it a little bit easier, we have put together six tips to help you eat green while dining out or grabbing something to go. Ask questions Ask your server about the restaurant’s sources. What farms do they buy from? Is this dish in season? If the server doesn’t know, they can ask the manager or the chef. If the restaurant has a philosophy of incorporating seasonality into the menu, the workers will be more than happy to share the food’s origins, and the menu items will change with the seasons. Do your research to know what is in season where you live and what local restaurants embrace seasonality. When you are looking over a restaurant menu, also keep in mind your location and what is in season locally. If you are in a landlocked area, ordering ocean fish isn’t smart, because it certainly isn’t local. If you live in Missouri and it’s the middle of winter, tomatoes are not in season. Get a box American restaurants are famous for the extra-large portions of food that they pile up on plates, making it nearly impossible to finish the meal in one sitting. According to Sustainable America , the average restaurant meal is eight times larger than the standard USDA and FDA serving sizes, and 55 percent of leftover restaurant food doesn’t get taken home. Related: 5 simple ways to reduce your food waste right now Big meals mean even bigger waste. Instead of leaving behind food and letting it go straight to the trash, ask for a box. It will help cut down the food waste, and it gives you an instant lunch for the next day. If you don’t want to take leftovers home, consider splitting a large appetizer or entree with your dining partner. Choose farm-to-table Farm-to-table is one of the most popular buzzwords of the moment, and many restaurants have been more than willing to capitalize on the trend. More chefs have started to incorporate local and seasonal items on their menus, and some restaurants have even started growing their own food. Eating at a restaurant that locally sources its ingredients results in a major downsize of your foodprint, because there is no need to ship the ingredients across the country. Just make sure that the restaurant is truly farm-to-table — that’s when asking the right questions becomes important. Just say no If you don’t want that basket of rolls or chips they automatically put on the table, just say no. Tell your server not to bring it, so it isn’t wasted. The same thing goes for items on your entree. If you don’t want onions on your burger, tell your server to leave them off it. If you don’t want that side of coleslaw, ask for a substitution or tell them to skip it completely. Watch buffet portions To reduce your food waste at a buffet, use smaller plates. People who use large plates waste 135 percent more food than those who use smaller plates. Watch your portions when enjoying a buffet, or avoid going to one. Decline takeout bags, utensils and condiments When you order takeout, reduce your carbon footprint by bringing your own coffee or water cups, saying no to straws and plastic bags and declining plastic utensils and napkins. You can bring your own reusable container and see if the restaurant is willing to use it. Say no to extra condiments and seasonings. All of these to-go items might seem convenient, but they often end up in the trash. Instead, just grab the food, and use the cutlery, condiments and seasonings that you have at home. If you really do need some of the extras like sauces or condiments, only take what you need. When you dine out, you can eat sustainably by keeping these tips in mind. Just remember to choose the right restaurants, ask questions and minimize your food packaging and waste , and you will be doing your part to reduce your foodprint. Via Foodprint and  Sustainable America Images via Steffen Kastner , Thabang Mokoena  and Shutterstock

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6 tips to reduce your foodprint while dining out

5 simple ways to reduce your food waste right now

October 30, 2018 by  
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Food waste is a huge problem worldwide, with one-third of all globally produced food ending up wasted. Americans throw away about 43 percent of the food they buy, and the organic matter in landfills emits methane, which is a major factor in climate change . We are enticed into wanting our food to look perfect, and we also don’t want to spend much on it. Americans generally spend less on their food compared to other nations, and because of that, many people don’t value it or think much about throwing it out. So what can the average person do to fight back? Here is a list of ways that you can reduce your food waste right now. Start meal planning This may seem like common sense, but it is one of the easiest and most important things to do. Plan out your meals in advance, and then make a detailed list of ingredients you will need. Then, when you get to the store, stick with the plan. This will help you avoid buying too much food. Plus, it also saves you time and money at the store. If you buy only what you expect to use, you will be more likely to keep it fresh and use it all. Also, be sure to check your cupboards and refrigerator before going to the grocery store or farmers market , so you don’t buy things you already have on hand. Store and prep properly It is easy to buy fruits, vegetables and other perishable items and then forget about them. But if you store and prep everything properly, it can significantly help you reduce your food waste. When you get home from the market, take the time to wash and prep your fresh food, then store it in containers for easy  cooking  and snacking. Put items you plan to use in the next day or two in the fridge, and put the surplus in the freezer. Eat leftovers If you cook too much or have extra after going out for dinner or enjoying takeout, save your leftovers to enjoy later. Invest in quality food storage containers, because they will keep your food fresh for longer. Come up with a labeling system to help you keep track of how long the leftovers have been in your fridge. Almost half of extra restaurant food alone is thrown in the trash instead of boxed up and taken home, so learn to love leftovers for the sake of minimizing food waste. Watch your portions Speaking of restaurant leftovers … they occur because restaurant portion sizes are significantly larger than they should be. You can’t force restaurants to give you a smaller portion (although you can embrace the leftovers), but you can control your portions at home. Large portions have made their way into many kitchens, leaving more opportunities for food waste. Use smaller plates when you prepare food at home, and then save the leftovers for later. If you notice that you are constantly making too much food, cut down your recipes. Ignore expiration dates Expiration dates contribute to tons of wasted food each year, but you might be surprised to learn that expiration dates on food mean absolutely nothing to consumers. Except for baby food, expiration dates, sell-by dates, guaranteed fresh dates and use-by dates are all used by manufacturers and have nothing to do with government regulation or any kind of set standard. This means that a lot of food isn’t spoiled, even though it has gone past the expiration date. Trust your senses of smell, sight and taste. Unless the food has obviously spoiled, don’t be so quick to throw it out. Most people don’t realize just how much food they throw away on a daily basis. By taking just a few easy steps, you can reduce your food waste , make a major impact and help conserve resources for future generations. Via Mashable , Time and Stop Food Waste Images via Shutterstock

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Mobile app Karma tackles food waste with discounted meals

September 12, 2018 by  
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The launch of Karma in Sweden has brought about a new way of fighting food waste . Since 2016, more than 1,500 businesses such as restaurants, bakeries, cafes and hotels as well as the three largest supermarket chains in Sweden have joined the battle to reduce the amount of perfectly edible food that is thrown away daily. The mobile app offers restaurateurs and retailers the opportunity to sell their otherwise wasted products at a fraction of the original price to hungry Swedes and now Londoners, too. What began as a social movement soon became a startup for Karma’s four founders: Elsa Bernadotte, Mattis Larsson, Ludvig Berling and Hjalmar Ståhlberg Nordegren. “We had all graduated from university, the four of us got along really well and so we decided to build something new and exciting together,” explained Ståhlberg Nordegren, the company’s CEO. “We also knew that we wanted to build a consumer facing product that would make an impact.” Related: New study finds food waste will increase to 66 tons per second if left unchecked Coming up with the clever solution to a growing food waste crisis quickly became a win-win situation for all involved. Following its February 2018 launch in London , the company projected approximately £30,000 ($39,000) gains in revenue for each of the 400 businesses that agreed to participate in the program, which is offered at no cost or subscription to the businesses. The surplus meals have been met by grateful hands of families that are struggling, both in London — rated the fifth most expensive city in Europe by Money Inc.  — as well as Sweden, where the publication reports that a meal for two can easily land you with a €262 ($305) bill. The four food  rescuers moved to tackle London, hoping to gain momentum in the capital of a country that has a massive food waste problem. It is estimated that 10 million tons of food are thrown away annually in the U.K. at a cost of £17 billion ($22 billion) to businesses and a priceless expense to the environment . Related: The ugly truth about the imperfect food movement Swedish angel investors noticed the efforts of the company and insisted to help the four founders, who were living very frugally without taking salaries in order to achieve their mission. Ståhlberg Nordegren said, “After living like this for a couple of months, our board of directors forced us to take on a salary of $2,000 per month to make sure we could really focus on the business.” Today, the team has grown to 35 individuals dead-set on resolving the food waste problem in their homelands while slowly branching out into new markets. The company is on track to achieve projected 2018 revenues of €3 million ($3.5 million). What’s in the future for Karma? “We need to scale the business to be able to have the magnitude of impact that we’re aiming for,” Ståhlberg Nordegren said. “Being able to make a profit from solving a problem while creating value for both restaurants and consumers makes this a fantastic opportunity to build a business where you don’t have to choose between cause or profits. All in all we are on a mission to rescue even more food!” + Karma Via Forbes Images via Karma

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Mobile app Karma tackles food waste with discounted meals

How are millennials preferences changing the food industry?

June 1, 2018 by  
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Millennials are dramatically disrupting the way food is produced, packaged, marketed and served. As a highly vocal group, millennials have given food producers little option but to listen to their demands, resulting in changes to not only food choices, but farming techniques and restaurant services as well. These changes have reverberated throughout the food industry, creating a food landscape vastly different from the one experienced by millennials’ parents. Healthy Has a New Look Millennials have altered what it means for food to be healthy. While older generations may have contented themselves with vague “low-fat” or “healthy” labels, millennials have higher expectations, especially when it comes to GMOs. While it’s estimated that 70 percent of processed foods contain GMOs, more than  60 percent of millennials want non-GMO food options, and 68 percent pay more for organic products. It’s likely that demand for these products will only increase, and the food industry is becoming more transparent in order to meet this demand. Localized Food Production Increases Millennials don’t just want to avoid GMOs; they want to know exactly which ingredients are included and where those ingredients come from. This desire for increased transparency has led to a preference for local food brands over national ones, both at the level of production and consumption. Whether buying food at the grocery store or eating out, millennials seek out locally sourced food. Some millennials have taken this trend a step further and started to grow their own food in urban and rooftop farms. Take, for example, the farm on top of the Method Products manufacturing plant in Chicago . One of the world’s largest, this rooftop farm can produce up to 10 million crops each year. And it doesn’t stop there—all the vegetables and herbs on the farm are pesticide-free and grown sustainably. Using rooftops in place of traditional farms helps make better use of available land and provides urban dwellers with access to the locally grown produce that millennials seek out on a regular basis. Eating out Is More Popular Another major change to the food industry includes the increased popularity of eating out. In 1970, only 25.9 percent of consumers ate out , as opposed to 43.5 percent today. Though millennials don’t account for the entirety of this increase, they have contributed significantly to it. According to a recent USDA report , millennials consumed 2.3 percent of their meals in restaurants, which equates to eating out about twice a month. Technology also plays a major role in making restaurants more popular with younger generations. With apps like the Humane Eating project that combine millennials’ love of technology with sustainable eating, it’s no wonder that more people are exploring new places to eat. And apps aren’t the only thing that appeals to millennials—restaurants with guest WiFi and tablet point-of-sale systems tend to draw in younger crowds as well, which suggests these methods may become standard restaurant practice within the next decade. Despite their youth, millennials have already had a strong influence on the food industry. From its focus on healthy eating to its interest in locally sourced and sustainably grown food, this group is poised to turn food production and service around, which could have positive consequences for a world fighting obesity and other health concerns. However, only time will tell if the impact millennials have on the food industry will have long-lasting effects on other facets of life, from the economy to government policy and public health. + Food Industry Executive + Forbes + Organic Trade Association + QSR Magazine + USDA Images via Pexels (1) (2) , Pxhere , and Pixabay

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‘World’s first floating kitchen’ is a food truck for the seas

January 22, 2018 by  
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Hungry jet skiers or boaters could soon be able to cruise up to a floating kitchen in Dubai and order food. Aquatic Architects Design Studio (AADS) came up with Aqua Pod , dubbed the world’s first floating kitchen – and Gulf News said it will be coming to the city later this month. Aqua Pod takes the idea of a food truck to the water. The floating structure will make it easy for those in marine crafts to grab a snack. AADS founder Ahmad Yousuf told Gulf News there are two potential ordering systems: in one, a delivery jet ski from the Aqua Pod passes out flags to boats or yachts , and boaters raise their flag to make an order. The delivery jet ski will take orders and deliver food. In the second scheme, people can jet right up to Aqua Pod to place an order – although that system would only work for smaller crafts. Related: Floating Solar Orchid Pods Could Bring Pop-Up Restaurants to Singapore’s Waterfront What food will Aqua Pod offer? Burgers, to start. Yousuf said their client went with burgers because it’s an easy meal to eat, although they might expand the menu to include pizza or desserts depending on how successful the concept is. Electricity will power the floating kitchen. But won’t it leave a lot of litter in its wake? Yousuf told Gulf News the pod “has a built-in system that allows it to collect any trash in the sea. So even if someone makes an order from us and then throws that trash into the sea – which is out of our control – the Aqua Pod can take in all that waste into one of its tanks, which is then discharged afterwards.” The Aqua Pod can easily move around, floating to where the demand is. Yousuf told Gulf News it will start operating in Jumeirah, and reach areas like “Al Sufouh Beach, Kite Beach, and the Palm Lagoon one and two.” + Aquatic Architects Design Studio Via Gulf News Images via Aquatic Architects Design Studio and Christoph Schulz on Unsplash

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Sustainable food certification gets ‘REAL’

December 6, 2013 by  
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The United States Healthful Food Council has taken a cue from LEED to audit restaurant meals.

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Sustainable food certification gets ‘REAL’

3 ways businesses can target consumer food waste

February 14, 2013 by  
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We've looked at why your firm should reduce food wasted by customers. Now here's how to do it.

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McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish Sandwiches To Carry ‘Sustainable’ Labeling in US Restaurants

January 25, 2013 by  
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McDonald’s has announced that it will be the first national restaurant chain in the US to carry products bearing the blue label certificate awarded to seafood products that meet the Marine Stewardship Council standards on sustainable fishing . Starting next month, McDonald’s will pay annual fees and royalties to the Marine Stewardship Council’s ecolabel for their Filet-O-Fish sandwiches. However, it’s really rather questionable as to whether anything from McDonald’s can truly claim to be sustainable. Read the rest of McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish Sandwiches To Carry ‘Sustainable’ Labeling in US Restaurants Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: endangered fish , fish ecolabel , Marine Stewardship Council , McDonald’s Alaskan Pollock , McDonald’s overfishing , McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish , McDonald’s Fish , New Zealand Hoki , red-rated fish , sustainable fisheries , sustainable fishing , sustainable food

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Peugeot Announces Plans to Release a Hybrid Car That Runs on Compressed Air by 2016

January 25, 2013 by  
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Peugeot just announced plans to introduce a new hybrid car that does away with lithium-ion batteries entirely and instead uses compressed air to provide zero-emissions driving. The new compressed air car that will be powered by a hybrid system that combines a gas motor with compressed air storage. Read the rest of Peugeot Announces Plans to Release a Hybrid Car That Runs on Compressed Air by 2016 Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: citroen , citroen hybrid car , compressed gas , green car , green transportation , hybrid car , Peugeot , peugeot hybrid car , zero-emissions driving

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Culinary Misfits Rescue Fruits & Veggies that Supermarkets and Restaurants Reject

November 2, 2012 by  
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Beauty is only skin deep – but try telling that to supermarkets who reject an apple or carrot with even the slightest hint of a blemish. Fortunately, there are those among us who are willing to look past perfection and accept the produce that grocery stores reject. The Culinary  Misfits are a catering team out of Germany that uses only the fruits and vegetables that don’t meet the standards of stores and restaurants.  Still perfectly edible and delicious, the misshapen or discolored food is saved from becoming animal feed or tossed in the trash. Read the rest of Culinary Misfits Rescue Fruits & Veggies that Supermarkets and Restaurants Reject Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: crowdfund , culinary misfits , germany , kreuzberg , lea emma brumsack , Produce , product design , tanja krakowski

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