The demand for greener restaurants is no longer a trend - it’s now required for many establishments! Social responsibility and environmental sustainability are at the forefront for restaurant owners, driving their choices in equipment and ingredients. But with any endeavour comes myths, inaccuracies, and misconceptions - and the ‘green’ foodservice industry is no different. As your equipment specialist, it’s my job to ensure that I clarify all aspects of your equipment purchase, but here are some of the more common myths of green foodservice equipment and food.
Energy-rated equipment is the most efficient. Sure, energy star equipment has helped us move leaps and bounds towards our efficiency goals, but if you have to run your equipment longer, harder, or run multiples of one type of unit, then is it really more efficient? “Sometimes more efficient equipment might be more appropriate for smaller operations. For high-volume operations, if the equipment takes longer to produce the volume needed, it ends up using more energy in the long run,” says David Zabrowski, director of engineering at the PG&E Food Service Technology Center.
Electric is greener than gas. This is a myth that stems from what may have been true for someone living in an area where electricity costs less than gas. In some parts of the country, though, electric costs much more than its gas counterpart. It boils down to analyzing each piece of equipment, your utility costs, and how long it takes for that equipment to achieve results to find what is truly the greenest option for you.
Green labels make being green simple. In fact, a kitchen with energy efficient equipment and a proper kitchen design may still fall short if they aren’t utilizing their equipment properly. Certain green-related labels are a great start, but you truly need to analyze the equipment with your area and individual needs to ensure that it is in fact the best option.
Biodegradable and compostable are the same. In fact, biodegradable and compostable are two different things. For instance, biodegradable items may degrade over time, but if they’re at the bottom of a landfill, they won’t get the oxygen they need for the process to begin. All compostable products are biodegradable, but not all biodegradable products are compostable.
Sustainability means you can only get ingredients that are locally sourced. In fact, even local ingredient sources can lack what it takes to be ‘green’. It’s all about the operation and commitment - not necessarily about size or location.
When you’re in the market for equipment, make sure to consult with a professional in order to find the greenest products! I’m here to help.
E Friedman Associates Inc