As individuals, we make choices everyday…paper or plastic? Window or aisle? Debit or credit?
As conference organizers, we make choices too…Beef or chicken? China or disposable? Local or organic? Plated or buffet?
The choices we make about food and beverages are critical to the well-being of our guests, our budget and our planet. We have the responsibility of making these food choices for the large number individuals attending our meetings and events. These choices have become increasingly complicated as guests have come to expect food that fits their daily way of life whether that is low-carb, organic, or one of the many other options. Not only do we make choices about the food and beverages served, but also about how it is served.
Start 2006 by considering a few ideas that will make those decisions easier.
- Choose food in season. From economic, health and environmental standpoints, choosing food in season in the local area has great benefits. Buying locally grown products helps support the local communities and offers fresher, seasonal and regional choices without the transportation impact. It is also a great way to celebrate the local flavor of the region. Local and organic is certainly the preference if available.
- Choose seafood from sustainable fisheries. Increased consumer demand for seafood is depleting fish stocks around the world and harming the health of the oceans. Today, nearly 70 percent of the world’s fisheries are fully fished or over-fished. Simply choosing seafood from the guides below will take the guess work out of menu selection:
- The Monterey Bay Aquarium publishes Seafood Watch, a guide for consumers. They provide a free pocket guide you can download and carry. (www.montereybayaquarium.org)
- Blue Ocean Institute also publishes a Mini-Guide to Ocean Friendly Seafood in a pocket guide format. It is available for free at www.blueoceaninstitute.org.
As grandma always said, “Choose wisely.” Your guests, your checkbook, and the Earth will thank you!