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3 of the Biggest Waste Culprits in Your Kitchen: Part 1--Overbuying

By Robb White, CEC CCA AAC; Executive Chef & Food Waste Prevention Catalyst  //  April 24, 2017

Reducing food waste in a professional kitchen is an ongoing battle. Some solutions are easier to see and implement than others. There are quick fixes that can show an immediate reduction in the amount of food waste, like smaller portions, small batch cooking, cooking to order. Some solutions take time to implement and results come slower, but the outcomes are long-term and impactful. Smart “menuing,” proper forecasting, strong inventory and purchasing practices will make the most impact in the long run. One of the biggest waste culprits in the kitchen is one that often goes unchanged and that is the practice of overbuying. 

Be it purposely or by mistake, food is often over-bought and without strong practices in place to utilize all purchased food, the products most likely end up in the compost or trash bin. Simply put, overbuying is when too much food was purchased that could be utilized before it either spoiled, went beyond the serve by date, or the quality deteriorated. Some might think that all chefs have a handle on purchasing food for their kitchens, but the truth is, not every chef has the experience, know how, or financial acumen to be able to make smart purchasing decisions. Combine that possible lack of skills with the absolute fear of running out of a certain product and you have a recipe for food waste.

So what can chefs do to curb the practice of overbuying?
Here are some solutions:

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Research Confirms: Reducing Food Waste is a Smart Investment

By Janet Haugan, Vice President of Customer Success  //  March 30, 2017

Companies Save $14 on Every $1 Invested in Reducing Food Waste

Earlier this month a new report was released from Champions 12.3, in collaboration with the World Resources Institute (WRI) and WRAP, that found companies saved $14 for every $1 invested in reducing food waste.

This report, which includes customer-protected data from LeanPath among the data set, is very favorable financial validation of the food waste prevention work that LeanPath has led for the past 13 years. It supports the fact that if organizations, consumers and governments take action to reduce food waste they can not only prevent millions of tons of food from going to waste, but they can also save billions of dollars.

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Does Donating Food Help Solve Hunger? New Paper Suggests Not

By Janet Haugan, Vice President of Customer Success  //  February 28, 2017

Many foodservice operations incorporate donating excess edible food into their food waste strategy and overall mission to do good. The US EPA food recovery hierarchy, which has long been a guiding resource for prioritization of food waste solutions, positions feeding hungry people just below source reduction for preferred approaches to food waste. And it seems like it’s hard to argue with the inherent “good” that comes along with feeding hungry people, right?

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Report Highlights Potential for Food to Energy

By Gavin Stansill, Account Manager  //  February 28, 2017

A recent report from illustrates the potential benefits of converting wasted food to energy, and the findings are very compelling. Using the average weight of food wasted per person in North America, the report calculates the approximate energy that could be generated should the food be digested rather than sent to landfill.

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U.S. Representatives Introduce Legislation to Expand Food Donation

By Todd Pendexter, Business Development Manager  //  February 28, 2017

Continuing the push for more food waste legislation, United States Congress Representatives Marcia L. Fudge (D-OH), Dan Newhouse (R-WA), Chellie Pingree (D-ME) and James P. McGovern (D-MA) introduced The Food Donation Act of 2017 (H.R. 952) earlier this month. The bill amends The Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act (the Emerson Act), which was passed in 1996 to encourage food donation by offering protection from liability to those who donate food in good faith.

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