I recently visited Fort Whyte Alive, an environmental education and outdoor recreation facility in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The land that makes up Fort Whyte Alive is actually reclaimed land that was once a cement factory. Now covered with forest, wetlands and prairie grasslands, the center is now an amazing example of re-purposing with a purpose! As we toured the space with a particular eye toward our upcoming events at the facility, I couldn’t help but notice the two school groups who were engaged in presentations by Fort Whyte’s staff. It was a rainy day, and the outdoor portion of their experience had to be cut short, but not a single one of those children seemed disappointed by that at all! As one of the staff explained to me, “he’s telling the children about how the early Manitobans once used every single part of the Bison for something”. He held up his visual aids to show food, tools, clothing, and other items sourced from the single animal.
So, why am I telling you this on a blog about food waste reduction in the special events industry? Well, I suppose that is because back in the 1880’s, sustainability wasn’t a buzzword, it was just the way things were done.
Fast forward to 2015, where if we dream it, someone can make it for us! If you want just the tenderloin from that Bison, you can have it! But, where does the rest of it go? By this point, I am clearly using the Bison as a metaphor, but it’s not really too far off from the basic message.
What you can expect to see from leftover advocate
If you have read this far, then hopefully you are passionate about finding ways to reduce food waste in the special events industry. Moving forward, I will be featuring my findings on ways to negotiate better contracts, order smarter, and have a plan when it comes to leftover food at your events and your event sites. When you ask a venue what they do with their leftover food and their answer is “the health department doesn’t let us donate our leftovers”, the conversation DOES NOT need to stop there – there are PLENTY of ways you can encourage them to do the right thing! Join me as we explore options such as composting, donating to farms, and even making dog treats from spent grains after brewing beer!
What you will NOT see on leftover advocate
leftover advocate is a positive space for praising people, venues and cities that embrace sustainable business practices with regard to food waste reduction. We will NOT be highlighting the negative, and we will not be “shaming” people, venues and cities into embracing sustainable business practices.
Stay tuned, it’s going to be a fulfilling ride!