Archive for the ‘sustainable food services’ Category

>Greg Overbeck and Sustainable Food Services

>(By Priyanka Kotadia)

“In Japan, Taiwan and South Korea, the government in a matter of years has put a lot of energy behind recycling food waste as livestock feed, it’s environmentally friendly, it provides cheap livestock feed for the farmers in those parts of the world, and it avoids sending the food waste to landfill,” said Tristram Stuart, author of Waste: Uncovering the Global food scandal. While some nations have taken drastic measures in recycling, the US government has made minor attempts in revising its policies towards compostable material. Few sectors of the food industry are taking precaution in their waste production to attract more customers and media attention. Greg Overbeck, sustainable restaurant owner from North Carolina, discusses his environmentally friendly measures with Shane Snipes for Sustainable 1000.

Founder of MEZ, a contemporary Mexican restaurant, Overbeck was one of the first to attain LEED certification for this restaurant. The US government grants a LEED certification to any “building or community [that] was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across all the metrics that matter most: energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.” Such certification has helped business owners like Overbeck in boosting their business income. Overbeck asserted that he uses local produce and environmentally friendly utensils to continue his ‘green’ mission. However, even his business is not entirely eco-friendly because he claims that ‘economic viability,’ is the most significant aspect in any business.
            Restaurants like MEZ demonstrate that Americans are taking some eco-friendly measures in our everyday but it is not enough. If other nations have effectively transitioned into nearly 100% recycling mode while still maintaining booming economy, why is the US legging behind?