A Closer Look at Eco-friendly Foodservice Options

Posted by Tara Stanton

Over the last several decades, people across the country have grown increasingly thoughtful about what they eat. What was once seen as the mark of the counterculture — organic vegetables, local produce and a greater awareness of how people get their food — has now gone mainstream.

Though it may be impossible to keep up with the never-ending array of fad-diets that come and go like the seasons, you can satisfy changing consumer tastes by remembering that, in many cases, people want to be assured they are eating in a way that is healthy for both them and the planet. 

Environmental concerns are at the forefront for many consumers, placing greater prominence on eco-friendly food services. In response, many surprising and inventive alternatives to plastic and other petroleum-based service products are now available. Here’s a look at a few:

* Biodegradable take-out containers. The amount of plastic used to package to-go items and leftovers is truly astonishing. It’s no wonder that the area where you can make the biggest difference is in converting these plastic containers to biodegradable containers. Eco Products offers just about every kind of biodegradable take-out container you can imagine.  

* Disposable plates and cutlery. If you run a catering business or work in an events facility, switching your disposable tableware from plastics to bio-friendly material can be an upgrade in appearance and customer experience. Nowhere is this more evident than in disposable plates made from wheat straw. You can find them at World Centric. Spoons and forks made from corn starch is another responsible way to upgrade your disposables. Check out Green Wave to see all the options.

* High-end disposables. There’s only so much you can do with plastics, and no matter how delicious the food you serve is, much is lost when it’s served on plastic or even paper. For those in the industry looking for a bio-friendly way to really impress clients, SD Trading offers elegant Japanese and Dutch designs. However, as one would expect, these come at a premium price.

* A note on materials. People have come up with a number a creative, ingenious ways to manufacture biodegradable materials. Some examples are sugarcane fiber, palm leaves and bamboo. How a product is made will often determine its price, appearance and durability, so it’s important to research what material is best for you.

Switching over to sustainable materials requires an investment, yes, as they do cost more than petroleum-based products. It's important to really know your clients and customer base before deciding whether this financial decision makes sense for your business.

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