Food Wastage & Recycling

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“Cooking is one of the simplest and most gratifying of the arts, but to cook well one must love and respect food” –Craig Claiborne.

Kitchens around the world work very hard on producing food of the highest quality, what we  call as gourmet food. Everyone tries to better the other in cooking up or producing preparations, changing traditions and even raising the bar. The common changes in technique, technological advancement or development, deformation of classics are all done as trends keep changing around the world.

All this while looking away from one of the very key element of our very sustenance, food material which could feed many, which could feed the hungry, considering the scarcity of food the world is through. However, we do not seem to be much bothered to go to any lengths to ensure we have enough beluga sturgeon (for its caviar) and bluefin tuna or Atlantic salmon for our tables to feed our most exclusive customers or our guests, without for once peeping at the future. Although there is nothing wrong in consuming and serving exotic produce, the painful part is insensitivity towards available resources.

Statistics from FAOUN (Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations confirm:

  •  Roughly one-third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year — approximately 1.3 billion tonnes — gets lost or wasted.
  • Industrialized and developing countries dissipate roughly the same quantities of food — respectively 670 and 630 million tonnes.

Now, what does that mean to Cooks & Chefs? The food which is prepared with all the hard work and passion, abused and castigated, which is by default a slander to the trade. I honestly believe this is not good cooking!

Recently, the Mecca of culinary, France has shown the way by penalizing supermarkets which waste food by destroying or throwing away unsold food. Instead, they have been asked to donate it to charities and food banks. With the massive development of technology and the jumpstart, it is provided by the means, International competition is bringing in, this is just a start, I believe and hopefully more will follow suit.

As a responsible human being and professionally a Culinary Instructor, with all humility would strongly advocate responsible handling of food from my Culinary fraternity and advice all budding Chefs to understand the need for  food recycling. Come on let’s start it!

“The earth is a large and very complex lifeboat. We still do not know what can and can’t be done with a proper distribution of resources and it is notorious that to this day we have not really made an effort to distribute them. In many places on Earth, food is wasted daily, and it is that knowledge that drives hungry men mad”- Issac Asimov.

Vinod Radhakrishnan

A food production professional for the last 20 years, graduating in hotel management from India, he subsequently obtained a Masters in Hospitality Management from Wales Bridge University, USA. Has been associated with some of the finest international hotel chains such as Hyatt, Intercontinental (Six Continents Club) etc. and various fine dining outlets in the GCC and the Middle East. Has also been part of pre-opening properties (hotel & restaurants) in these regions namely Oman, Qatar & Bahrain. A culinary trainer for the last 10 yrs. working in culinary schools in India and the UAE, he has been with ICCA since 2006 and has been instrumental in developing its training curriculum. A certified food safety ​ ​trainer​, certified instructor from American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) as well.

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