When planning a green conference or business meeting you also have to attend to the catering. Your participants need good meals to fill their stomaches and energise their brains. The dishes you serve them can make a big difference for the environment. Hire a caterer who is willing to work with you on green meals. Here are some tips you should keep in mind.
1. Native nibbles
Your food should not have to travel further than your meeting delegates. The first step to green catering is to work with local suppliers. Local foods travel a shorter distance from farm to plate demanding less fuel for the delivery and causing less CO2 emissions.
You will be rewarded with extra fresh and healthy products.
2. Seasonal snacks
Local suppliers can grow fruit and vegetables out of season. This costs extra energy for artificial heating and lightning in greenhouses. Seasonal products are not only better for the environment but also for your purse. Ask your local caterer for seasonal dishes. A typical Dutch winter dish is stamppot from mashed potatoes and vegetables.
For a long time they were dismissed as hippie stuff but recently organic foods are becoming a new health and eco-trend.’Organic’ means for fruit and vegetables that no pesticides and fertilizers were used for their growth. Organic meat has to be made from animals that have not been fed anitbiotics.
‘Nontoxic’ products are not only better for the environment but also for your health. According to organic-fans they also richer in taste and nutrients.
4. No need for meat
The animal feed and meat industry belongs to the most polluting industrial sectors. Livestocks produce more greenhouse gasses than all the cars in the world and due to grazing they claim more land than any other human activity. They are fed tons of antibiotics that also contaminate our water. Thus eating less meat does not sound like a bad idea. Ask your caterer for low-meat or vegetarian dishes. You will also contribute to animal welfare
5. Left overs left for good
Make sure that your caterer uses reusable platters, tableware and serving dishes. Talk to you caterer about what quantities are served to reduce leftovers and inform about possibilities to donate or recycle surplus food.
Now it’s up to you!
For more information about green restaurants and catering in Holland you might want to take a look at the “Green Meetings” section of my website. If you have additional suggestions, I’d love to hear them.