Home Publisher's Point of View An Honest NAFEM Conversation Worth Remembering

An Honest NAFEM Conversation Worth Remembering

Glenn Hasek

I just returned from The NAFEM Show in Orlando. Held every two years, the show features the latest advancements in foodservice equipment and supplies. I will be summarizing many of the highlights in an upcoming article. This year there were more than 600 exhibitors so it would be impossible to mention all the news from the show in one article.

One of the things that jumped out at me this year was the number of companies offering food waste reduction equipment—equipment that either grinds, pulps, digests or dehydrates food waste. Maybe I missed an exhibit, but I don’t recall coming across any companies whose No. 1 focus is helping foodservice establishments reduce food waste before it ever must be reduced for “elimination.” That is until, well…continue reading.

I did have one conversation about food waste that really stood out and it was with Nathan Ridgway, International Business Manager for Mechline Developments Ltd. Mechline, based in England, was at the show for the first time with their Waste2GO food waste bio-digester. It digests up to 400 pounds of food waste to water over a 24-hour period.

Important Food for Thought

One thing Ridgway told me really struck a chord. He said there is a danger in making it easier to eliminate food waste because it can remove the incentive to stop food from ever getting to the grinder, pulper, digester or dehydrator in the first place.

Turns out Mechline does not only offer bio-digesters. They also offer a “Food Waste Reduction Programme” that makes the case for food waste prevention and reduction, offers tips for reusing and donating food “waste,” suggests a process for measuring food waste, provides the means for tracking and recording the waste, suggests tips for recycling it (animal feed, for example), before finally explaining the benefits of its bio-digester. Mechline also offers a roadmap for engaging employees (green teams and champions) in the food waste prevention and reduction process.

It was refreshing to see a company not just out to sell its machines. It truly is interested in helping to solve an important problem in our industry. According to Mechline, the amount of food thrown away in foodservice outlets is equivalent to one in six meals. Others estimate 30 to 40 percent of our food supply is discarded. Food waste fills landfills, rots and creates methane—a potent greenhouse gas. Of course there is also the carbon cost of hauling the waste.

Leanpath is one company that comes to mind that helps foodservice operators prevent food waste. The hospitality industry needs more companies like Mechline and Leanpath to help everyone get a better handle on the food waste crisis.

Green Lodging News Adds Quipworks as Founding Sponsor

Green Lodging News has added Quipworks Inc. as a Founding Sponsor. Quipworks is a provider of specialized waste reduction equipment for the restaurant, hospitality, resort, golf course, and light manufacturing industries. Its GLSand is a compact glass bottle crusher that reduces bottles in volume by 10:1 to a safe to handle sand like product. The machine is designed for waste reduction, cost reduction and sustainability. The GLSand will provide a positive impact on a property’s waste reduction goals, and create a usable commodity for landscaping, pavement patching, pool filtration and other uses. The GLSand is quiet and easy to operate. Crushing time of 3-5 seconds per bottle, 160 x small beer bottles or 60 x wine and spirit bottles = 5 gal. bucket. Optional lift available for bulk transport of sand like product. 12-month limited warranty (excl. consumables). Dimensions: 23″ wide x 19″ deep x 53″ tall. To see the machine in action, click here. Contact Fred Phillips at (888) 575-7847 or by e-mail at fred@quipworks.com.

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