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Waste: Sustainability without a Blueprint

A chef’s common-sense approach to nimble innovation

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Eliminating Waste in the Food Chain

Globally, we waste 30-40% of all food produced—or one of every three calories. Waste also reduces food availability and translates to lower prices for producers and higher prices for consumers.

In developing countries, waste is a result of post-harvest losses and a lack of infrastructure and storage. In developed countries, waste occurs in long supply chains and homes, restaurants and retail operations—where unused and uneaten food is too often thrown away.

Reducing waste globally is a key component of any effective food strategy. If we eliminate existing food waste, we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 10%, water use by 23% and halve the amount of new food needed by 2050.

Chef Lucas Glanville is Executive Chef at Grand Hyatt Singapore.

As a chef for nearly 30 years, I’ve seen food trends come and go—some in the blink of an eye. Today, many chefs are supporting food sustainability in a big way. But this isn’t a trend; it’s the future. To feed people tomorrow, our philosophy today is “Thoughtfully sourced. Carefully served.”

To us, “carefully served” not only means creating a delicious meal, it means eliminating waste. In a hotel, the food chain is long. And there are opportunities to reduce waste every step of the way. Here’s an example. If our menu says salmon, we either sell it today or utilize it elsewhere tomorrow. It is very specific. But if we have a fish-of-the-day special, we can create an amazing dish with the best available fresh seafood we have and wow the guest. It’s good for the diner, it’s good for business and it eliminates waste.

Here at the Grand Hyatt Singapore, we’ve also made a serious commitment to thoughtful sourcing. In our five restaurants and large event space, we serve upwards of 4,000 meals per day. An audit revealed we were purchasing 600 different seafood items. What if we could whittle that list down to the very best must-haves and only purchase sustainable seafood?

Three years ago, we embarked on that journey. We didn’t have a blueprint, but we had a common-sense approach and a passion for making a difference. Today, we buy just 100 seafood items—and give preference to sustainable sources. And we’re by no means at the end of the road. Sustainability is now part of our hotel’s DNA, and we’re introducing it across the entire company.

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