July 17, 2014

Businesses that donate their food can become certified.Do you ever wonder what happens to the food left over at restaurants and bakeries? Because you’re a student of pastry courses, you might know that many of the products get thrown away. In fact, according to MarketWatch, 40 percent of the food produced in the U.S. every year ends up in landfills. That statistic may seem ethically wrong to you, and it does to many other people. That’s why restaurants, cafes, bistros, etc., can become Food Recovery Certified.

Donating the leftovers
When you were a kid and didn’t want to finish your meal, your mother might have told you about starving children in the world who would love your food. She had a point, and the Food Recovery Network decided to help those starving people. Restaurants that are certified with the group donate their leftover items to the less fortunate in their communities. Instead of filling the alley dumpster with the day’s unbought items, restaurants give people who haven’t had a good meal a chance to fill their stomachs.

To become certified, a restaurant must redistribute its unsold food to the homeless at least once a month. While it’s a rather low frequency, the act still decreases waste and helps those in need. The business has to apply with the Food Recovery Network, providing the name and contact information of a nonprofit to which it donates. The restaurant then pays a fee to become a member. The restaurant will get a Food Recovery Certified sticker to place in its window, alerting customers to its ethical and sustainable practices.

Incentivizing cultural shifts
The Food Recovery Network started off as a group of university students who collected their dining centers’ leftovers and donated them to the homeless. To this day those colleges still participate begun to certify businesses. The model of certification benefits all parties involved. Restaurants get recognized for their humanitarian efforts, which pays off, according to the Food Recovery Network. In fact, 91 percent of consumers say they would switch to using a brand that supports a good cause. By being certified, businesses can attract individuals who want to aid the effort of feeding the homeless.

Clearly, less fortunate people benefit from the program as well. Getting a hot and quality meal when you don’t have a home is certainly uplifting. Perhaps the less obvious positive effect of Food Recovery Certification is that it helps the environment. By using the food we produce, we don’t waste resources.