For many years, we at LeanPath have talked about the “romance of composting.” We have found in our work on this issue that when people are putting food back into the soil rather than sending it to rot in a landfill, they often think they have checked the box or closed the loop on addressing wasted food within their organization. This tends to translate into a feeling that they don’t need to worry about food waste prevention strategies since they are already composting. And our hypothesis has always been that they may even become waste complacent since they know that the waste is ending up in a “good place.”
3 things you can do today to shift behaviors in your team.
If you follow LeanPath and our food waste blog, you’ve likely heard us say this: food waste is a behavioral issue. You can implement processes, use technology, create mandates—but at the end of the day, if we can’t change behaviors, then we can’t begin to solve this problem.
When “sustainability” became a regular topic in the foodservice industry about ten years ago, it was common to group the conversation neatly into sub-components: energy, water, waste, food sourcing, and community engagement (among others). This was all new for most, and the learning curve was steep in each area. Operators wondered: where should I start? What matters most? Everyone made their own choices because there was no hierarchy within sustainability.
The food waste movement has come a long way in recent years, moving definitively into the mainstream of sustainability conversations. Television hosts and celebrity chefs are talking about it, and businesses and governments are setting goals to reduce it. The EPA’s food recovery hierarchy is the long-time accepted standard for best practices in food waste reduction, with prevention firmly established at the top as the optimal solution. And though there are various techniques for prevention, daily measurement of waste is emerging as a standard of excellence for foodservice operations that want to prevent the maximum amount of food waste.
LeanPath was invited to particpate and present at the 2016 WasteExpo event in June, a conference and tradeshow showcasing the latest in innovation in the waste management sector. Todd Pendexter, Business Development Manager at LeanPath, represented the food waste prevention sphere at the conference, speaking on trends and technology for reducing food waste in foodservice operations.