Can Restaurants Grow Their Own Vegetables To Be More Sustainable?

Should restaurants attempt to grow their own food? Will this make them more sustainable? Yes, restaurants can indeed grow their own vegetables. And it might even prove to have a favorable ROI.

Did you know that 65% of consumers are willing to pay up to 10% more for the privilege of dining at green restaurants?

That’s not all, however. Michelin, arguably the world’s leading guide in restaurant standards, has also taken up the clarion call to promote sustainable practices.

Michelin’s latest symbol – the Green Clover

An establishment with the noteworthy Michelin 5 stars is a restaurant of good repute. Recently Michelin unveiled their newest accreditation – the “Green Clover” also known as the “Sustainable Gastronomy Selection”. This is a symbol to show the restaurant’s commitment to environmentally friendly practices.

In fact, it is awarded only to chefs who have demonstrated “responsibility by preserving resources and embracing biodiversity, reducing food waste, and reducing the consumption of non-renewable energy.”

Growing vegetables in-house reduces food miles

The local food movement has been on the rise over the years. As a result, most consumers do care about where their food is coming from. The argument is the further afield it has to travel, the higher the carbon footprint and the odds the produce will be chemically manipulated to keep it fresh.

Consequently, the idea of food integrity and the need to reduce food miles have taken centerstage. Restaurants are listening to the concerns of their patrons. And the result is the provision of organic food by the restaurant itself.

Growing vegetables in-house mitigates carbon footprint

Carbon dioxide is one of the noxious greenhouse gases responsible for trapping heat and causing global temperatures to soar. Restaurants each have a carbon footprint. This translates to the total greenhouse gas emissions caused by its operations.

Sourcing produces from faraway increases the restaurant’s carbon footprint. When restaurants grow their own vegetables, they save time and money associated with procurement. They also significantly mitigate their overall carbon footprint as an establishment.

Growing vegetables in-house promotes quality control

When an establishment takes it upon itself to grow their own vegetables, it is easier to know outright the quality of the food they are serving. In a country actively growing genetically modified foods, this is extremely important.

A public opinion poll by Pew Research showed that 48% of Americans said they did not eat genetically modified foods because they considered them potentially harmful to one’s health.

The poll also showed that the largest group concerned with the inherent dangers of eating genetically modified were people ages 18 to 29. Restaurants largely supported by this target demographic may see more favorable attitudes if they make the move to grow their own vegetables.

Growing vegetables in-house eliminates food waste

Do you know how much food is wasted in the U.S. every year?

80 billion pounds of food are thrown away yearly – that’s the equivalent of 1,000 Empire State Buildings.

And with 37 million people in the country food insecure, the waste is truly shocking. Restaurants that grow their own vegetables will not have to resort to throwing out food simply because of labels such as “expires on”, “best before” and “use by”. Produce will be harvested on an as-need basis, helping to eliminate food waste within their own premises.

Get started with green business practices

LokaBee is committed to helping businesses make the transition to adopting environmentally-friendly practices. Not sure where to get started? Here’s an excellent blog to give you some ideas – How Green Is Your Restaurant: Environmental Audit.

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