Becky Green - Our Waste Warrior of the Week

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1. What’s your take on all the attention food waste is getting lately?

Finally! Reducing food waste can impact so many issues that are hurting our planet. Hunger, depleting natural resources and climate change are just a few that can be significantly changed if everyone thought twice about what they put in their trash.

2. What are your best tips to make it easy to reduce food waste in the kitchen?

Awareness. That is why I think the continuous attention food waste is getting is so great! Once you start thinking about what you’re buying and throwing away each week you will reduce your food waste. Take a second every day to scan your fridge and see what you have left and what will soon go bad. It will make a difference, I promise!

3. What is one small change every person can make in their daily lives to make a big difference?

Make the effort to reduce your waste and then share your stories with friends. Have fun with it! As I mentioned before, if we can work together to get everyone thinking before they send food to landfill, we can make great change.

4. What is your favorite way to repurpose leftovers?

I love sweet potatoes and they go with anything--sweet or savory. I love making sweet potato bowls in the morning with nut butter and granola or sweet potato bowls in the afternoon with leftover veggies or greens that will soon go off.

5 Questions with Chef Alex Seidel, Executive Chef & Proprietor

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1. What’s your take on all the attention food waste is getting lately?

It is a great topic and something that I talk to my family about often.   Ever since I was a young chef, controlling waste through organization and complete utilization is how one respects food.  This proactive approach to running a lean kitchen isn’t only essential for running a sound business but it is a skill that people should take home with them as well. 

2. What are your best tips to reduce food waste in the professional kitchen?

It starts with understanding what goes into the kitchen trash. It is not just the preparation of food, it starts with ordering and the chain is linked until the guest has finished their meal and the plate comes back to the kitchen.  Once you are aware of the waste that is created, it takes constant communication and training with your team about the importance of product utilization, portion size and organization. Nose-to-tail has certainly become trendy as of late but chefs have thought about food waste for a long time because food cost has always been part of the kitchen culture.   I really appreciate the increased awareness.  It has created a conversation and a new way of thinking about food waste. Getting people to think about the critical state our food systems are in, is really important.

3. How about in the home kitchen?

Controlling waste at home is especially difficult for a busy family.   You have to plan, to think about your meals ahead of time, think about when you have time to eat and be cognizant of your schedule. Being a busy chef, my wife takes care of all of the little things but she can come home with a salmon fillet and some crab cakes without considering the fact that we have kid’s gymnastics and football practice the next couple nights.  Getting home at 9pm is not a good time to start cooking salmon and days later the quality is no good and the salmon is forced to be thrown away.  Often the lack of awareness on the time you actually have to cook for the family creates waste but proper planning can make a tremendous impact. 

4. What is one small change every person can make in their daily lives to make a big difference?

I have noticed as I have gotten older and paying more attention to my health, that portion control is very key. If we could just reduce the sheer amount of food that we consume in every meal, our food system would not be under tremendous weight to over produce food, grow it such a rapid rate, or genetically modify foods.  I used to cook a ribeye for each person at the table and we would do our best to finish all of the meat, but now the four of us share a ribeye. Changing eating habits will put less pressure on our food system and create a healthier society.

5. What is your favorite way to repurpose leftovers?

Honestly, I hate leftovers so it is all about getting better at cooking for one or two or four or whatever size your group is. Having said that there are certain leftovers that I really love, obviously Thanksgiving, you can create a lot of different things with turkey. But I don’t like to eat the same meal twice so it is about repurposing and turning a protein into something different.

 

5 Questions with Scott Davis, CEO of FLIK

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1.   What motivated your personal interest in sustainability and food waste reduction?

I worked for Whole Foods in the late 80’s and  90’s.  The issues back then are the same today. Working for a corporate culture / platform that is based on sustainability really made it personal for me.

2.   Can you share a story about a food waste hero who inspired you?

I personally participate in our town’s central recycling center and Chris (the site’s attendant is an  engaging personality) makes the visits fun.  My guess is that people go to talk with Chris and the recycling is secondary.

3.   What change have you made personally to be more mindful?

It is a lifestyle.  My family has been working on eliminating our waste for years. The single biggest thing I am constantly reminding myself and my family how many people in America go to bed hungry.   I serve on the board for Hunger Related Events (Taste of the NFL) and we are working on the recapture of food as well as raising funds for food banks across the country.

4.   What will it take for America to make food waste a priority?

We need more education in the public school systems and a strong social media campaign of how debilitating waste is in this country. It is all about awareness(kids will put pressure on their parents) and adopting better practices. Culturally we need to be raising the issue everywhere.

5.   What is one small change every person can make in their daily lives to make a big difference?

Visit a shelter and see how the smallest of contributions can make the biggest of impacts. Awareness will nurture new behaviors that will become habit and culture.

5 Questions with Regina Northouse, Executive Director of Food Recovery Network

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1. What motivated your personal interest in sustainability and food waste reduction?

My role as Executive Director of Food Recovery Network has brought together my passion for ending food waste and hunger, my experience with individual leadership development, and my belief in young people as powerful agents of change. I’ve dedicated my career to non-profit work, as I believe it can generate solutions to many problems in our communities. Sustainability efforts require big systems change, small systems change, innovative and disruptive system change and individual behavior change. This kind of work requires collaboration, another powerful ingredient to change that I am committed to fostering. And that’s just one of many skills needed. I believe that this food recovery movement, led by a whole generation of passionate young people, are is going to be the ones who what significantly disrupts status-quo problems.

2. Can you share a story about a food waste hero who inspired you?

Working for a national organization with more than 230 chapters on college campuses is humbling. Every student in our network has their own inspiring story. I’m always excited to share some of them! For example, in the wake of Hurricane Irma, our students at the University of Tampa showed incredible strength and resilience. And at FRN, our students donate their food to local nonprofit organizations such as homeless shelters, soup kitchens or food pantries. We call those nonprofits our “nonprofit partner agencies.” Our Tampa chapter would go goes beyond just dropping off their nutritious food to their local agency--they would also volunteer as mentors, working with the elementary students there. When the building where this nonprofit was housed suffered terrible fire damage from hurricane Irma, our students worked to continue to feed the people supported by that nonprofit. We didn’t even know about the fire damage and what they were doing to help ensure people were being fed until we reached out to see if our student leaders in the affected areas were okay. They just felt this is what they had to do in the wake of such a tragedy.

3. What change have you made personally to be more mindful?

Food waste can happen to the best of us — it definitely happens to me — but I try to eat the produce I’ve purchased as soon as possible and put food that needs to be consumed first in the front of my fridge. For the unavoidable food scraps, I make sure to compost all organic matter. Another nonprofit that I love, called Ample Harvest also is a way for home growers like myself to donate my surplus grown produce to local nonprofits if I can’t consume it all, freeze or preserve it, or give it away. It’s a great resource. And, the founder of Ample Harvest is on the FRN advisory board!

4. What will it take for America to make food waste a priority?

For this country to truly make food waste a priority, there are changes that we can make at every step of the food production process as I noted earlier

We have to make a concerted effort to educate Americans — and I’m sure you’ve seen some of the cool educational campaigns that have cropped up. More conversations about the way we consume food are being had every day, and FRN is here to amplify those conversations and the action steps that come from those discussions. Let’s not shame people for whatever part they may have in food being wasted, but give them the tools and resources to make everyday behavior changes that can make such a big difference. People are pretty savvy about preventing food waste once they’re given the right resources. I’ve yet to meet someone who wants to waste food or waste money.

5. What is one small change every person can make in their daily lives to make a big difference?

Besides making sure their school or alma mater has an FRN chapter, there are many small changes that every person can make. Here are a few simple things that can make a huge difference:

•  Have an “eat me first” bin in your fridge to make sure fresh produce isn’t wasted.

•  If you’re eating at a buffet, try not to mound over your plate, but go up as needed. You’ll get your money’s worth no matter what, but getting your money’s worth doesn’t mean throwing away the two whole pieces of chicken or an entire piece of cornbread you just couldn’t finish.

•  Look closely at the buying patterns in your home. Buying in bulk doesn’t save you money if you’re not using the full product. If you buy a huge container of hummus because it’s cheaper, but you’re wasting half of it, think about buying a smaller amount the next time you’re at the store.

 

Q & A with Amy Keister, VP of Sustainability - Compass Group

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1.  What originally inspired you to get involved in your work?

My grandparents never wasted anything. Food was precious to them, not something that was taken for granted or thrown away.

2.  What makes you continue to want to be involved in this kind of work?

First and foremost my two children. I want to help change our behaviors and attitudes toward food so that they have a better relationship with both food and waste.   I’m also extremely inspired by the results we have achieved to date on reducing food waste and am humbled by the task still at hand.

3.  Who inspired you as a kid?

My parents really inspired me while growing up in a rural town in Connecticut. It wasn’t a farm, just an acre or so, but my parents acted as if it was. We grew all of our veggies, had fruit trees, and we canned everything that we didn’t use right away. We had chickens, pigs, and a pet cow named hamburger…Nothing went to waste. Ever.

4.  What do you see as the biggest opportunity to fix the food system?

Awareness that 40 percent of food in America is wasted, that sell-by dates are misleading, communicating how easy it is for everyone make a little change, and how all of these little changes add up to tremendous change.

5.  Can you share a story about a food hero who inspired you?

Tom Colicchio. Not only is Tom a fantastic chef, he is a true humanitarian. Chef Tom founded Food Policy Action in 2012 to hold legislators accountable on votes that have an effect on food and farming. He has been an outspoken voice on issues like improving school meals, the use of antibiotics in food sources, and better anti-hunger policies in America. I was honored to have Tom Colicchio partner with us on Stop Food Waste Day to bring about the change that is needed in our world to combat food waste.

6.  What’s the most pressing issue in food and agriculture that you’d like to see solved?

The overwhelming amount of food from going to farm to landfill. I want to see more food going from farm to table.

7.  What is one small change every person can make in their daily lives to make a big difference?

Shop with a shopping list.

5 Questions with Chef Bill Chodan - FLIK - SVP of Culinary

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1. What’s your take on all the attention food waste is getting lately?

Long overdue, unfortunately we have grown up in a wasteful time. Earlier generations treated food as a more valuable commodity due to the less availability. With the availability of a bounty of foods and ingredients today it has become less of a valued resource.

2. What are your best tips to make it easy to reduce food waste in the professional kitchen?

Monitoring the waste stream. Both from a food preparation and customer standpoint. Teaching employees on proper cooking techniques and uses of ingredients that commonly end up in the trash.  In addition to monitoring food portioning, over portioning will also contribute to excess waste.

3. How about in the home kitchen?

The same approach, watching the amount of food purchased at the supermarket and prepared at home. Implementing home composting wherever possible.

4. What is one small change every person can make in their daily lives to make a big difference?

Do not bite off more than you can chew. Only purchase and prepare portions of what you can consume.

5 .What is your favorite way to repurpose leftovers?

Soup! Every weekend I look through my refrigerator to see what leftovers I have and decide what soup I can prepare.

Morrison Healthcare donates $8,000 to the Asheville Poverty Initiative

Pictured from L-R: Morrison Regional Director of Operations Jason Channell, Anne Leventer and Shannon Spencer from the Asheville Poverty Initiative, Mission Health Chief Vice President of Operations Jonathan Bailey, Morrison Executive Chef Mark Albano, and Morrison Regional Vice President Karl Sukley. Queen Mother, also from the Asheville Poverty Initiative, is seated in front.

Pictured from L-R: Morrison Regional Director of Operations Jason Channell, Anne Leventer and Shannon Spencer from the Asheville Poverty Initiative, Mission Health Chief Vice President of Operations Jonathan Bailey, Morrison Executive Chef Mark Albano, and Morrison Regional Vice President Karl Sukley. Queen Mother, also from the Asheville Poverty Initiative, is seated in front.

Morrison Healthcare, Mission Health’s exclusive Food and Nutrition Services partner, today donated $8,000 to the Asheville Poverty Initiative. The donation was made possible as a result of Morrison and its Mission Health account being recognized by parent company Compass Group as the national Compass In The Community Gold award winner for 2017.

In North Carolina, one in four children is food insecure -- that is one of the highest rates of food insecurity in children under 18 years of age in the country.  Hunger-fighting nonprofits, such as the  Asheville Poverty Initiative (API), play a significant role in providing nutritious meals to adults and children experiencing food insecurity. API serves 1,600 meals every month to individuals in need living in Asheville, North Carolina. The nonprofit serves food to individuals through their cafe, 12 Baskets Cafe, with a focus on creating an inclusive communal space. API also accepts donations of surplus, prepared foods from local businesses. The Morrison team at Mission Health has donated 3,600 pounds of food to API since their partnership began. Shannon Spencer, the Executive Director of API, appreciates the diversity of food that Mission donates, “We pick up from several restaurants, we get a lot of the same foods from these restaurants. What we get from Mission allows us to offer much more diverse meals. The protein, the vegetables -- oftentimes it’s something completely different from what we are picking up from hot bars and cafes.”

Thank you to our partners at Eatable for providing us with such an inspiring act.  Visit their website at www.eatablefood.com

5 Questions with Chef Cary Neff - VP of Culinary - Morrison Healthcare

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1. What’s your take on all the attention food waste is getting lately?

I feel strongly that this is a personal and professional responsibility for everyone to increase their awareness of the millions of pounds of usable foods that goes to waste and the millions of people who are without safe, sustainable and accessible foods. It’s imperative that we take an active part in addressing this national crisis.

2. What are your best tips to make it easy to reduce food waste in the professional kitchen?

Increase the awareness of every food service associate of the importance to be more conscious of reducing food waste at the source and what they can do to address the issue.  A.) Awareness of the issue and how it affects our/their community to help the associate visualize their “why” to become more actively involved. B.) Conscious menu development and inventory controls to cross-utilize products to better utilize the whole product. C.) Organize kitchen production areas, associate schedules and work assignments to create greater efficiencies. Full brigade system or hot and cold production and product requisition system, to eliminate duplicate food production and incremental waste. D.) Daily use of production schedules to census or guest count coupled with training and planned use of by or left over products.

3. How about in the home kitchen?

At home it’s very important and cost effective to plan meals daily or weekly prior to shopping for products, in an effort to reduce the purchase of unused foods. Over purchasing of home food products and spoilage is one of the largest contributors of food waste.

4. What is one small change every person can make in their daily lives to make a big difference?

Handle and store unused foods safely to utilize in another meal. For example cooked grains and vegetables from one meal can easily be converted into a salad or soup for another meal.

5. What is your favorite way to repurpose leftovers?

In addition to converting to soups or salads, breakfast hash and 1 dish casseroles are my go to ways to repurpose leftovers. For instance leftover Thanksgiving meal is converted to tasty and colorful casserole by layering whipped potatoes, cooked vegetables, yams, dressing, cranberry sauce,  turkey and gravy.

5 Questions with Bal Arneson - Chef & Author

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1. What’s your take on all the attention food waste is getting lately?

I think it is very important for people to be educated on food waste, so we can make better daily choices to help our planet – so I think its amazing all the attention this topic is receiving. With all this attention, it makes us more conscious on how we purchase, prepare, and store our food.

2. What are your best tips to make it easy to reduce food waste in the professional kitchen?

In professional kitchens, there is such a high volume of food that it can be easy to waste. Participating in composting, donating left over food, and recycling menu items is a quick way to reduce food waste in a professional kitchen. Planning out your menu so you can use leftover products is an efficient way to make sure everything is getting used.

3. How about in the home kitchen?

At home, an easy way I reduce food waste is I always take my vegetable peels and use it later to make a vegetable broth. I teach my family that to prevent food waste, we need to be conscious about this from planning our menu, to shopping at the grocery store, and how we store our food at home. If we notice that we have leftovers and ingredients that need to be used, we will have a day once a week where we create new recipes with what we have in the fridge. 

4. What is one small change every person can make in their daily lives to make a big difference?

One very quick choice that everyone can make is to take time out of your day to check your fridge, and organize it, so you can make sure everything is in proper containers, and that you don’t purchase more of something until you have used it up all at home!

5. What is your favorite way to repurpose leftovers?

Making soup is a great way to use your leftover vegetables! You can make a big pot and freeze it, or give some to your neighbors too!

5 Questions with CFO Andrew Large

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1. What motivated your personal interest in sustainability and food waste reduction?

I don’t think we can deny that climate change is real. By reducing how much food we waste hopefully we can have a positive impact on global warming. On a day-to-day level, it just makes good economic sense! Using all your food= spending less in the long run; and as finance guy this is a win win!

2. Can you share a story about a food waste hero who inspired you?

Food Recovery Network are a wonderful organization, recovering perishable food from our college accounts and donating it people who need it in the local community. So impressed when I saw these guys!

3. What change have you made personally to be more mindful?

Freezing leftovers! Just an easy way to make sure you finish everything. We prepare and cook less = better on the waste line!

4. What will it take for America to make food waste a priority?

Getting the word out there that 40% of food produced in the Unites Stated ends up wasted. 40%.......that is almost half of all food produced!!

5. What is one small change every person can make in their daily lives to make a big difference

Meal plan- knowing exactly how you’re going to use the food so you can shop for just what you need. Plan ahead and by doing so it actually takes the chore out of what to cook (plus by keeping a record you have menu/recipe items you can refer back to for inspiration!)

5 Questions with Scott MacLellan - President & CEO of Morrison Community Living

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1. Which non-profit mission do you feel most committed to supporting?

I serve on the board of a number on non-profit organizations, but the one most relevant to our business was the 10 years I spent on the Foundation Board at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, one of Morrison's customers.

2. How did you become personally invested?

My youngest daughter had survived cancer three times by the age of seven. She's had two liver transplants and over 150 surgeries in her lifetime. So naturally, I have a deep affinity towards children with serious illness and their families. I know what it's like to live moment by moment, wondering what the next bit of news will bring, or what challenges your child will face when the morning comes.

3. What do you do to show your support?

I support all the Boards where I serve with my time, attention, prayers and finances. But I think the real support comes when you invest personally in the people whom these boards serve. It's one thing to write a check, or attend a meeting; it's altogether different to share in the lives and the experience of people in need. When you experience that need firsthand, your service to the organization ramps up to a completely different level.

4. Can you share a story when you realized your efforts were making a difference?

It is easy to see how these amazing organizations realize their purpose by serving those they were created to help. You can see that difference firsthand. And I'm incredibly honored to play some very small role in that. But I think the moment that hit me the most, actually, was when my oldest daughter posted on social media that I was traveling on a mission. I hadn't even thought about the impact this work was having on my own family. It really gave me one of those "gut" moments when you realize something bigger than yourself is happening.

5. Why is it important to you to give your time to others?

We live day to day in the service industry. Every day I am inspired by what our people do to serve patients and residents at some of their most vulnerable moments. When you spend your days watching people with compassionate hearts touch the lives of people at the soul level, it's hard not to turn around and do something yourself. When you talk to these amazing associates, all of them will tell you that giving to others enriches their lives even more. I think that's part of the mystery of life. It is in giving that we receive.

5 Questions with Chef Jehangir Mehta

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1.   What’s your take on all the attention food waste is getting lately?

I am glad the conversation has now started and awareness has been created but we as a nation still have a lot of implementation work to orchestrate. The lines of communication have to be strengthened by changing the mindset of the people before a real change will be seen. 


2.   What are your best tips to reduce food waste in the professional kitchen?

If a chef is aware of the consumption level, order in bulk to reduce the waste generated from packaging.  Help your staff talk through all channels in the kitchen and the front.

 Another way is maximizing the product ordered. For example: If the Bar needs 10 lemons juiced everyday for service, while the Pasty Department needs zest of 10 lemons for a tart and lastly The Front Desk needs a pitcher of Lemon water everyday made with 5 lemons. Instead of them all ordering separately that would be 25 lemons a day. The three departments start to speak to each other. The pastry department first zests the 10 lemons then hands it over to the Bar who juices them. The Bartender in turn alters the recipe by placing all 10 lemons in the pitcher for lemon water for the Front desk. This way the lemons have been manipulated to the fullest to create less waste, create efficient inventory and much better Food cost for the organization who saved purchasing 15 additional lemons a day. 

3.   How about in the home kitchen?

All manners and lifestyle patterns are set from home and the question of setting the right mindset is implemented from the home.  The thinking of waste management has to be inculcated in our children right from a very young age.

4.   What is one small change every person can make in their daily lives to make a big difference?

If all of us just take a moment to stop throwing a mushy fruit or a bruised vegetable completely in the garbage and instead take a moment to carve out only the bruised area and use the rest of the product.  Use the mushy fruit to make a muffin, or anything else, or pickle vegetables that have a short lifespan left.  Follow the mantra UTILIZE BEFORE YOU TRASH.

5.    What is your favorite way to repurpose leftovers?

Soup is the easiest way to use leftovers or make fillings for dumplings with the food scraps. 

5 Questions with Cam Pascual & Mia Zavalij - Eatable Food Founders

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1.   What motivated your personal interest in sustainability and food waste reduction? (Both)

We both had similar, eye-opening experiences as college students. Through various volunteer opportunities, we saw the issues of poverty and hunger first-hand in our community. In our classes we were learning about sustainability and climate change. One day, we realized our university was throwing away perfectly edible food. It didn’t make sense to us from a sustainability perspective and we knew that there were individuals in our community who could benefit from the nutritious meals we were getting as students. We looked into the problem even further and learned that food waste was an issue not just on our campus. We have been fighting food waste ever since.

2.   Can you share a story about a food waste hero who inspired you? (Cam)

One of my big food waste heroes is Doug Rauch, who founded the nonprofit Daily Table. Daily Table provides healthy food options for the community they serve at low prices by selling surplus food from growers and other suppliers. What I like about his model is that you’re increasing food access for folks in a regular retail space, while providing jobs for the local community and transforming the way we perceive that surplus food.

3.   What change have you made personally to be more mindful? (Mia)

My biggest personal hurdle to tackle was not having enough time to prepare my meals. Now, I like to cut up all my vegetables and produce right away and then store it in Tupperware in the fridge to use throughout the week. That way I have a better visual on the amount of food I have and I can easily use my precut vegetables for snacks, stir fry and salads even when I feel like being lazy or don’t have the time I need. It also makes it easier to freeze produce if I can’t use it in time.

4.   What will it take for America to make food waste a priority? (Cam)

Actually, I’m really inspired by how much the conversation around food waste has changed over the past few years. People are really starting to pay attention to it, but even if people are aware of the issue, changing habits is easier said than done. America’s starting to prioritize reducing food waste, but now we need to continue finding ways that make it easy for us all to change our behavior.

5.   What is one small change every person can make in their daily lives to make a big difference? (Mia)

Being realistic while making a grocery list can go a long way. Meal planning is really helpful, but it’s also important to plan out or think about your weekly schedule while doing so. Asking ourselves questions like: “How many times am I going to eat out this week?”,  “Will I have time to cook after my long day on Thursday?”, or “Will this food keep when I go away over the weekend?” might make the difference between buying too much and just the right amount.

 

5 Questions with Chef Allison Trinkle - Chartwells Higher Education @ UMBC

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1.   What’s your take on all the attention food waste is getting lately?

Food waste is a problem that affects every aspect of our food system, from the product in the fields, to the family table and the landfills. We will run out of usable farm land to make way for landfills at the rate we are going.

2.   What are your best tips to make it easy to reduce food waste in the professional kitchen?

Training is the key. Educating associates on the importance of proper cleaning and trimming of vegetables and proteins, using scaled recipes and using production records leads to accountability. Waste management should be woven into the fabric of our daily execution.

3.   How about in the home kitchen?

Write out weekly menu and make a grocery list. We all are guilty of getting to the grocery store and buying items that are on special or that are a good price, but then not having  plan to utilize them and we end up throwing them away.

4.   What is one small change every person can make in their daily lives to make a big difference?

Recycling you will be surprised how much glass, plastic, aluminum, paper and cardboard are used in your household. We are fortunate to have a recycling center near our home and make a monthly trip.

5.   What is your favorite way to repurpose leftovers?

We have a weekly meal we loving call “Must Go”. We create a delicious meal cleaning out all the items that need to be used up in the fridge, we have fun contributing to the dinner and limiting our waste.

5 Questions with Lisa McEuen - CEO, Chartwells Higher Education

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1.   What motivated your personal interest in sustainability and food waste reduction?

My family was always conscious of waste so it’s been engrained in me since childhood. My parents grew up in the UK and lived on rations during World War II, so they were always very mindful about food and made sure that nothing went to waste. One of my earliest memories as a child was watching my father, a chef, butcher a cow and use every part of it for some purpose. It was then that I began to fully appreciate sustainability practices.  When I joined Bon Appétit and we built our strategy around “Food Services for a Sustainable Future,” I truly felt the marriage of my personal beliefs on sustainability and my professional practices come together.

2.   Can you share a story about a food waste hero who inspired you?

I am so fortunate to spend time each day with the incredibly talented and creative culinarians in our field. Watching them bring our innovations to life is truly inspiring. I am always amazed when I see them transform IDP produce into a beautiful healthy and delicious meal all while being mindful of our guest’s food preferences as well as popular trends.

3.   What change have you made personally to be more mindful?

Whenever I sit down for a meal, I take time to appreciate the food that I’m served or that I’ve prepared. I consider where the ingredients came from, how it was grown, picked, sourced, cut and prepared and recognize the heart, soul and passionate that went into preparing that meal. When I’m on the road, I make a point to avoid taking more than I actually need and when I’m home I only buy what I know I will eat for the week. 

4.   What will it take for America to make food waste a priority?

Everyone has the power to make a difference no matter how small. We need to keep the conversation going, be transparent about the food we waste and educate those around us

5.   What is one small change every person can make in their daily lives to make a big difference?

When I’m home, one of my favorite things to do in the morning is to make smoothies. Not only are they healthy and give me the jolt of energy I need for the day, but they allow me to get creative in the kitchen. In the morning I take stock of what left overs I have available and challenge myself to make a drink with what I have on hand. Each day’s creation is a little bit different which means that I’m always creating something new.

5 Questions with Eve Turow Paul - Author of "A Taste of Generation Yum"

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1.  What motivated your personal interest in sustainability and food waste reduction?

According to Paul Hawken, ending food waste is the number three most effective thing we can do to combat climate change. In today's world, many things feel out of our control, but limiting our waste is entirely on us. We can make change every day with our food habits — what we buy, how much we buy, and what we do with the leftovers.

2.   Can you share a story about a food waste hero who inspired you?

Dan Barber is my ultimate hero. His wastED pop-up took the concept of "food waste" out of the category of garbage and into the category of fine dining. He showed people that we're not talking about eating trash, we're talking about finding the hidden gems and delicious bites in the things we're mindlessly tossing aside. He made food waste a topic for gastronomes not just environmental advocates.

3.   What change have you made personally to be more mindful?

My husband and I waste almost nothing. We have two big recycling bins at home, an enormous compost bin, and a tiny garbage bin. We take out the trash (1-2 gallons) once a week. We freeze scraps to make our own stock. We upcycle leftovers. We buy groceries throughout the week to ensure things don't go bad in the fridge. 

4.   What will it take for America to make food waste a priority?

At the end of the day, the concept of climate change is hard for many people to wrap their heads around, but saving money is something they can get behind. And feeling altruistic can be a real motivator. We, as a culture, need to make using scraps and eating unusual plant and animal parts cool among "foodies." We also need to make wasting things shameful. Ideally, we'd implement a system in the U.S. like they have in South Korea where people are taxed based on their waste. It makes sense — the more any one person or company wastes, the more municipal money is spent transporting that waste, treating it, and adding it to landfills. We should be taxed based on how much waste we create.

5.   What is one small change every person can make in their daily lives to make a big difference?

Stop throwing away as much food. Buy only what you know you'll consume. With leftovers, find a way to make them exciting again, or compost them. Ignore "best by" or "use by" dates. Another big thing: Think about the parts of plants and animals you have been taught to throw away. Question that. Why are you throwing out your broccoli stems, cauliflower stems, beet greens, chicken livers or necks? They're perfectly edible and delicious! 

 

 

5 Questions with Dick Cattani - CEO of Restaurant Associates

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1.   What motivated your personal interest in sustainability and food waste reduction?

I became more aware of the situation and frankly enlightened after attending many industry conferences, company meetings and listening to speaker after speaker articulate the abuse of food waste in our society.

2.   Can you share a story about a food waste hero who inspired you?  

At a very early age my mother would consistently tell me to eat every morsel on my plate “because the people in Europe are starving.”  It wasn’t until I was a teenager that I realized the people in Europe weren’t starving, but people in other parts of the world were!  My mother was, however, very conscious of food waste and was very thrifty in saving money and utilizing leftover food.

3.   What change have you made personally to be more mindful?

In our business I have made it a priority to reduce portions in our restaurants and staff cafes, as well as reducing food and beverage inventories in our units.  Every unit in the company has much too much product on hand that only results in food waste.  Our volume of conference catering food and beverage also was a problem until we adjusted the program by reducing the quantities offered

4.  What will it take for America to make food waste a priority?

We will not turn the corner until it is addressed at an early age with our children in schools, clubs, camps and social media. 

5.   What is one small change every person can make in their daily lives to make a big difference?

Teach and influence one young person today!  I’ve been explaining this issue to my 10-year old granddaughter.  I’m making progress!

 

5 Questions with Arlin Wasserman, Partner at Changing Tastes

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1.   What motivated your personal interest in sustainability and food waste reduction?   

I grew up in working in a family owned produced company and even before I went to college I knew I wanted to work on environmental issues. I was fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time to launch the nation’s first weekly recycling pick up program and then create the concept of “plant-forward” dining when I was working for a catering company. This just always seems to have been my calling.

2.   Can you share a story about a food waste hero who inspired you?   

My dad, who ran our family own produced distribution company in Philadelphia back when I was a child. Each day, he’d bring home a big bag of fruits and vegetables that were so ripe, they couldn’t handle being driven around on the delivery truck the next day. Those “perfectly ripe” fruits and vegetables would have gone to waste, but instead were a part every meal we head.

3.   What change have you made personally to be more mindful? 

As someone who travels for work a bit too often, making soups and stocks is a once in a while activity. But to help reduce food waste and be ready to simmer at a moment’s notice, I keep three big containers in my freezer:  one for vegetable peelings and the others for the occasional bones when we cook meat or poultry or save the bones from a whole fish.

4.   What will it take for America to make food waste a priority?   

We are pretty well insulated from the problems of food waste and many of us are fortunate enough to just be able to pay a bit more. I think the recent generation of products made from scraps and waste, including snack foods and drinks, show the solution can be delicious and are likely to engage more of us than a campaign about environmental problems.

5.   What is one small change every person can make in their daily lives to make a big difference? 

When you order a meal, order just enough. When you ask what to eat, think what’s fresh and in season. And when a restaurant offers you more, like a buy one get one free promotion, ask if you can get it later or wrapped to take it home. Don’t take more than you need.

 

5 Questions with Greg Campbell, Executive Chef - MoPOP Seattle

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1.   What’s your take on all the attention food waste is getting lately?

I think it is great, anything that can be done to cut back on the amount of food that is going is the garbage is a positive.

2.   What are your best tips to make it easy to reduce food waste in the professional kitchen?

Cutting back on over ordering and over portioningis always the best way to cut waste.  We keep track of what we have sold in the past to use as a guide for future orders.

3.   How about in the home kitchen?

Don't buy too much at one time.  it is better to go to the grocery store several times a week than throw out food that has gone bad.

4.   What is one small change every person can make in their daily lives to make a big difference?

Be aware of the portions you are making.  Often when you are hungry you cook more than you are really going to eat. 

5.   What is your favorite way to repurpose leftovers?

We try to plan ahead for our leftovers. For instance we have pork one night and then fried rice the next, Or roast beef and then French dip sandwiches.  This also helps because a part of your second meal is already cooked and ready to go.

5 Questions with Mark Freeman of Microsoft

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1.    What motivated your personal interest in sustainability and food waste reduction?

I have always had a passion about doing the right thing for the earth – and at Microsoft, we are in a unique position to be able to implement some of these dreams as well as influence others. Food waste in particular interests me because of what I learned at the most recent World Expo in Milan, which focused on how to feed the 9 billion projected population by 2050.  By focusing NOW on reducing the amount of food that we waste, feeding 9 billion might be more achievable than we thought.  We may have the ability to feed the planet not necessarily by focusing solely on growing or raising more food, but rather by changing current behaviors and reducing waste to feed the world.  

2.    Can you share a story about a food waste hero who inspired you?

I had the opportunity to meet Carlo Patrini, who started the Slow Food movement, when I was at the College of Gastronomy and Science in Bra, Italy. Although he spoke very little English, and I not much Italian, we were able to understand each other enough to know that serving good, clean and fair food and treating the earth right would garner the ability to not only feed the planet…but to do so in a responsible way.

3.   What change have you made personally to be more mindful?

Personally, I have been focusing in on using durables instead of disposables. The idea of throwing something into a landfill is the worst, but I also really don’t know that throwing something into a compost or recycle bin is that much better.  To me, the only way to keep from doing that is to use durable and reusable containers.  At Microsoft, we are considering the same thing and using data to determine how much food to produce on any given day.  By utilizing predictive analytics and massive amounts of data from our POS systems, we can now predict within a 96% accuracy rate how many people will be in our Cafes tomorrow, and a 92% accuracy rate 30-days out. Knowing this give us an advantage in the quest for zero-waste; we reduce waste by not creating it in the first place.

4.   What will it take for America to make food waste a priority?

I think that constant visibility to the food waste problem and the constant support of celebrities (like Anthony Bourdain and others) will continue to drive the point home and keep it top-of-mind for Americans. I also think that if we get influential activists such as Al Gore to endorse it as part of their highly publicized platforms that would help.

5.   What is one small change every person can make in their daily lives to make a big difference?

Durables - drink liquids (water, coffee, juice) out of a reusable containers.  The biggest thing to remember about “throwing things away” is that there is no “away” – everything we waste has impact.