Save the Earth: It’s the Only Planet with Egyptian Food
What is sustainability? As defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, sustainability is “of, relating to, or being a method of harvesting or using a resource so that the resource is not depleted or permanently damaged.” If we consider the metaphor of Earth as a vending machine, we put our money into it and then retrieve our purchase. Each time we do, it depletes the inventory just a little bit more. If the snack guy does not come by to replenish the supply, soon we would be left with a machine that has very little purpose than to take up space in the lunch room. That, in a simplistic example, describes what we’re dealing with.
We are committed both to our customers as well as our environment, and we believe that you are too. That’s why we are gradually implementing more ways to remain responsible, resourceful, and sustainable. Here are a few methods that we have adopted, and a couple of tips that you may wish to implement on your own:
Using compostable containers. In our food truck, The Taza Truck, and at both of our fast-casual eateries, The Taza Stop and Ka’Moon, a great deal of food is made to be consumed off-premise. By making the simple move to use a more Earth-friendly container for purposes of food transportation, we are committing to cutting down on waste flow and the use of harmful products. Starting in 2018, we began to go green with the introduction 100% compostable containers. To top things off, we encourage each of our dedicated staff members to use recyclable dish ware and utensils throughout the food prepping process. Statistics have even shown that 91% of all plastic is not recycled, so we consider this transition an important part in helping to cut down on harmful environmental practices. As an added bonus, the containers look pretty awesome too!
Recycle, recycle, recycle. This one is pretty self-explanatory. We may have touched on it briefly in our previous point, but the damaging aftermath all too often caused by irresponsible garbage habits is too crucial to not further emphasize. Just take the extra 10 steps to avoid tossing that bottle into the wrong bin. The planet will thank you.
Using local, organic food suppliers. “Shop Local” and “Farm-to-Table” have taken the foodie nation by storm, and it’s easy to see why. The closer that food is grown to a restaurant, the less transportation involved, ultimately leading to a great deal of food and energy savings. Additionally, sourcing food locally gives us slightly more control over what we’re buying, as a result of seeing, experiencing, and having verbal input on how our food is grown. With so many alarms over contaminants in the food chain, buying local, GMO-free food is a big plus. Lactalis baby formula serves as an excellent example of what happens when brands fail to remain conscious of contaminants in products. Organic farms might take upwards of 3 years to become establish as certified organic, but we think it’s well worth the required wait. Patronizing organic food suppliers has allowed food services professionals to take advantage of the freshest, seasonal goods that farms have to offer. After all, Taza means fresh, and we’re sticking to it.
Water conservation. As one of our most precious Earthly resources, water is one of the easiest things to conserve. Low-volume flush lavatories, not allowing staff to run water when not using it, and providing water when asked, rather than automatically serving to patrons, are some of the simpler ways to conserve. Energy and water-efficient dishwashers, sprayers, and other dishwashing equipment provide cost and water savings as well!
Composting. While not always possible depending upon location, composting is a great way to reduce waste and put something back into the Earth. It’s never appropriate to compost meat and dairy products, but given that restaurants are bound to lose a fair share of inconsumable waste, letting the Earth munch on refuse to replenish the soil is a good way to not let it go to waste (literally). Composting does not need a lot of space, and there are ways of making it break down faster. Here are a few pointers that may help you: https://www.planetnatural.com/composting-101/. The golden rule of green and brown is the key to success, and moisture is essential. Anyone who sees how quickly produce can turn to mush in your refrigerator can imagine how quickly that turns to compost under the right conditions. Composting is a good tool for anyone. Remember, worms turn veggies from ordinary to extraordinary… and so the lifecycle continues.
Whenever possible, restaurants such as ours can request from their suppliers to limit the amount of packing materials that are not green. Recyclable cardboard is fine, but packing peanuts and any other Styrofoam and non-biodegradable packaging is hard to dispose of other than in the waste stream. If you are lucky enough to get supplies on a wooden pallet, you have the basics for a compost bin. Otherwise, we can just stick to picking up our products from local vendors to avoid shipping containers all together!
Awareness is the first step toward conservation and sustainability. Start small, knowing that each effort you make, when compounded over time, makes a difference. Soon these habits become second nature, and you and your planet will be better for it. After all, the ancient Egyptians never used plastic take-out containers or pesticide prevalent produce, and neither will we. Isn’t it time that you #EatLikeAnEgyptian the sustainable way?