As consumers around the world become more aware of the impact their choices make on the environment, businesses are changing their practices to become more eco-friendly. The food industry has seen a jump in restaurants choosing eco-friendly ingredients and adopting green practices.
The Sustainable Restaurant Association created the Food Made Good movement to help restaurants assess their impact on the Earth and to give them actionable suggestions for improving their practices.
We believe the problems facing our food system are complex and urgent. We believe that every meal served out of home can not only taste good, but do good too. By providing consultancy, training and industry leading benchmarking to the food service sector, we help make that happen. We work with progressive businesses that see this opportunity to do more than just feed.
These are just some of the areas that the Sustainable Restaurant Association looks at when assessing a restaurant’s environmental impact.
Local, Seasonal Produce
By using local and seasonal produce, restaurants can reduce transportation costs, as well as the carbon emissions necessary to haul produce over a distance. By choosing local produce, restaurants are also supporting the local economy and local farmers.
Ethical Meat and Dairy Products
When restaurants work directly with farmers and ranchers to practice ethical treatment of animals, they not only fight against animal cruelty, but also encourage other meat and dairy sources to change their practices.
Restaurants who choose to use sustainably-caught fish help to ensure the future of fish stocks and marine environments. Over-fishing has done great damage to too many natural ecosystems already.
It is also important for restaurants to consider environmental impact of the chain of transportation their ingredients must take to get to their restaurants. By working with local produce, fish, and meat suppliers, this chain becomes much shorter.
Fair Trade Farms
Fair trade certified sources are committed to green practice including restrictions on pesticides, protecting water sources, and banning the use of GMOs. By sourcing fairly traded goods, restaurants ensure farmers in the developing world are fairly paid and incentivized to use eco-friendly growing practices.
Think of all the water a restaurant might use in a day, from cooking to cleaning. Restaurants who seek to be sustainable must manage water usage to reduce the amount of natural resources they use.
Environmentally conscious restaurants must be as vigilant about what comes out of their restaurant as what comes in. By reducing waste, including food waste, restaurants reduce their environmental impact greatly.
Will you now seek out restaurants dedicated to using eco-friendly ingredients and using sustainable practices? Read our Eco-Luxury ambassador Ashlan Cousteau’s list of her favorite sustainable restaurants in the United States for suggestions.