Keeping food waste in check for Ramadan

A recent study by the UN showed that 32.7% of food produced globally is wasted each year
By Devina Divecha
Sun 14 Jun 2015 11:32 AM

Every year, when the holy month of Ramadan comes around, Caterer Middle East always receives a number of press releases about food waste, and how to keep this in check — no doubt fuelled by the number of iftars hosted by restaurants in the region.

A recent study by the United Nations showed that 32.7 percent of food produced globally is wasted each year. We often see buffets with a lot of food going uneaten every single year, and every year we hope the industry is working towards reducing food waste generated through buffet-style meals. But what else is this market doing to combat this?

‘Reduce, reuse, recycle’ is an idea that should be practised in the food and beverage industry, across many levels. When it comes to ingredients, for example, chefs who use every single part of an animal are to be commended. It’s something Roudy Petersen from Catch Abu Dhabi mentioned when we spoke to him about how he runs his back-of-house operations, and it was definitely a welcome thing to hear.

Not just in produce, but equipment and methods of working can lend themselves to efficient usage of resources.

I was pleased to learn that UAE-based distributor TSSC is involved in a nationwide recycling campaign for glass bottles.

Having noticed the PEL Baby Jaws bottle crusher in action at Gulfood last year, it is great to see the movement going forward, and showing results in this market. The technology is now being used by Madinat Jumeirah Resort, and I imagine the aim is for it to be a hospitality-wide phenomenon.

Another movement, in the logistics chain, which we’re keen to keep our eye on, is the creation of locally-made biodiesel, made from used vegetable oil. This comes from the recent agreement between Dubai Municipality and Neutral Fuels which will supply this fuel to municipal vehicles.

There are a lot of similar initiatives popping up in the region right now, and it’s a sign that the industry is moving in the right direction.

Evidence of this was seen in quite a few nominations for the Caterer Middle East Awards which talked about their processes in place to ensure wastage — of any kind — is reduced. It definitely won them plus points!

We’re also looking at wastage in the Caterer Middle East Head Chef Survey — tell us more about what you and your team are doing to ensure your food waste levels are kept in check. Happy recycling!

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