Sustainability Solutions to Share with Linchpins # 53

I’m sharing some “million dollar” creative sustainability ideas and you can have them for free.  Be a Linchpin and develop something: ship, ship, ship!

About 40% of the food produced in the United States is wasted. We already have some inkling of what is needed to improve the massive waste stream through our commercial kitchens but few are making progress.  Here are some examples of what IS being done:

  1. Some restaurants embrace the waste issue by donating the end-of-day food to local homeless outreach ministries.  This ensures that none of that food will ever be wasted, and there can be some tax benefits too…and good Karma.

  2. Other restaurants have developed simple EcoSystems within their own business models.  Wendy’s broken burgers of today will be Wendy’s chili of tomorrow (simple, I know…but this is part of the success of this chain.)  Rumor has it that when Captain D’s seafood and Shoney’s were once owned under the same corporate roof, Captain D’s seafood would be transferred to the buffet at Shoney’s the night before the next week’s truck arrived with fresh seafood…oh so simple.  Lastly, a more upscale chain has embraced the same concept (I think): when Bonefish Grille sells fish, it is always served within 24 hours of catch…their restaurant flag is owned by Outback Steakhouse group, which is positioned to sell all the unsold day-old fish without any issues in quality whatsoever as the daily special.

Where’s the Linchpin opportunity?

The systems in place are only a start.

I can imagine industrial parks with multiple food manufacturers in tandem that generate technical nutrients for the next facility.  A food plant with high alkaline waste stream could discharge in conjunction with another complementary facility with a high acidic discharge and neutralize each other’s wastewater prior to a publicly owned water treatment site.  This could be done easily these days, since many companies are owned under on corporation.

Additionally, restaurants could develop food packaging systems to preserve the foods that are cooked in excess.  They’d have to increase their sanitary standards to become “food manufacturing” sites, but this would better prevent waste, and might create an increase take-home income stream of revenue.

Simple.  Beautiful.  Elegant.  EcoSystem.  Sustainable!

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