A growing population puts increasing pressure on the Earth’s finite resources. Sustainability is about finding ways of providing food that will last for future generations and have less of an impact on the environment
Eating according to the seasons has for many people been largely consigned to the past now that you can buy produce, such as strawberries and asparagus, year-round thanks to refrigeration, heated greenhouses and global transportation. These methods create “food miles” (the distance the food has travelled from producer to consumer); every single mile adds to the food’s carbon footprint.
To achieve sustainability, food should be sourced “locally” wherever possible, so minimising the energy used in production, transport and storage. It must also support farmers, sustainable agriculture and local communities, and give farmers in developing countries a fairer deal. Minimising packaging and food waste is also key. According to a recent report in NGF Next Generation Food, the food thrown away by the US and Europe could feed the world three times over. The catering and hospitality industry is responsible for a large part of this waste.
Sustainable operating practices include using tap water not branded bottled water where possible. It is estimated that 1 billion people in the world don’t have access to safe drinking water, 2.5 billion people lack access to basic sanitation services and four children die every minute as a result of water-related illnesses. Hotels and restaurants with a growing social conscience are eliminating bottled water from the menu and donating profits to help fund access to sanitary tap water in the developing world.
Read more at Green Hotelier!