5 Little Changes that Make a BIG difference #WFD2015
Today, 16th October, is World Food Day – a day to share the awareness of the lack of available resources around the globe, as well as a motivation to look for ways how we can change this fact.
At Sunčani Hvar Hotels we sustain green tourism and social awareness. Following the OXFam list of suggested events the Company decided to host a World Food Day meeting on which our management and department heads had a brainstorming conversation about our food, farming and from where our products come from. This was an excellent opportunity to summon what we are doing and what we can further do in diminishing the world hunger accompanied by a presentation of our upcoming Autumn menu which features more than 60% of local seasonal produce.
Since we are proud of our findings we will share some of our thoughts and maybe in such a way inspire others to make a small change which will have a big impact for the world.
1. Reducing Food Waste – With nearly a billion people going hungry according to the statistics, the first step was to check for all the amount of food we throw away and how we can diminish that. During the summer months the Hotel Adriana prepares for its guests more than 35,000 eggs, squeezes 630 kilos of oranges and serves more than a ton and a half of smoked salmon. Our F&B department suggested good tips which they are already practicing which could help as well other restaurant & catering businesses not only to diminish food waste but as well to cut on costs: creating menus according to guest preferences (menu engineering, surveys, most popular items per season), proper storage of food, handling of food by HACCP & ISO standards and repurpose of extra food (e.g. if there is more bread than needed the extra bread is dried and made into crumbles for breading).
Eggs Benedict at Adriana, hvar spa hotel buffet breakfast
2. Buying Seasonal Food - Last week, we managed to provide an (almost) zero mile item on our breakfast buffet. On a quite small terrain in our backyard a vine provided enough grapes for two jars of black grapes marmalade, flavored by garden-grown anise. The ingredients were all local—almost because you need sugar to flavor, well everything. And as for other items on the buffet we have wonderful locally sourced foods as well as some of them that don’t grow so well in Hvar—but do come in fair trade varieties that ensure small-scale farmers and farm workers around the world get a fair deal.
Homemade jam & marmalade at Adriana, hvar spa hotel buffet breakfast
3. Eating a Vegetarian Meal once a week – “If we all eat a vegetarian meal once a week, we would help grow more food for people who need it while taking pressure off of the planet. That’s because growing vegetables or beans uses far less water and land than raising animals and reduces harmful greenhouse gas emissions, too.” – OxFam. There is each day a higher awareness of these facts within our guests and we responded to this by featuring a selection of vegetarian and vegan meals at our major restaurant premises. You can learn more about eating “V” in Hvar here.
Mediterranean orzotto (pearl barley) with steamed vegetables at Butchery & Wine Hvar Restaurant
4. Look for Products & Brands that ensure small-scale food producers – This is our major focus because “eating local” is just one part of the food justice equation, buying fair trade is another. Thanks to the development of transport infrastructure, technology and globalization island life has improved greatly and it is not as harsh as it used to be in the past when island inhabitants where literally cut from the world and had to rely on produce which have been picked during the warmer months and fishing. Nonetheless, there is a need to raise awareness of the importance of sustaining small farmers and local producers not only in terms of the environment, but also in terms of the benefit to the communities we operate in. By sustaining the Stari Grad Plein producers (e.g. local farmers supply our hotels with various types of island honey, of which the most sought is lavender honey), we believe we are not only providing a unique experience for our guests but as well we are creating a possibility of growth which will build a better society for all. You can learn more about our “locally sourced” initiatives here.
5. Small changes in the way the food is cooked – During shoulder season, when the island returns to its quieter “island time” pace we agreed that we will introduce in our kitchens two new customs in order to “Cook smart” which can considerably reduce wasted water and energy: turning off kitchen appliances when not in use and covering cooking pans with a lid.
Did we motivate to start making a difference in the world by raising awareness? What will you be doing for World Food Day? CLICK and share your message with us on Twitter!