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October 23, 2013

Benelux: 30 Percent Of Catered Food Wasted

Dutch foodFor the first time someone actually investigated just how much food is wasted in the party catering industry. Dutch catering company Hutten found out that an average of 30 percent of food items are destined for the trash can after a party. A lot of money could be saved on this, but more important still is the social relevance of the matter.

The study was carried out by Han Southoudt, working for Food and & Biobased Research at the Wageningen University. First he looked at the catering process identifying the moments where food is most likely to be wasted. After that he monitored a myriad of conditions that could influence waste: the number of guests, the type of arrangement, the type of guests, et cetera. Around a hundred events were included in his research, making for the average of 30 percent. A buffet is the most unsustainable form of dinner: 38 percent of food doesn’t get eaten. Walking dinners and seated dinners waste an average of 31 percent and 28 percent of food.

The biggest part of the problem is that most catering companies just prepare too much food for each guest. No shows are far less important concerning the total percentage. The main reason for conducting this research was the societal aspect. It costs a lot of energy to produce food, both in money and in natural resources. We should start doing things much more economical and sustainable. By using food more efficiently, we’ll have to produce much less, making for a lot of extra resources that can be used somewhere else.

It could also save the caterer a lot of money. Hutten loses an average of € 550 on wasted food each event. While the exact sum is hard to determine, changing attitudes could easily save them thousands of euros annually.

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About the Author: BBT Online





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