The choice of food and beverage can have a big impact on an event’s environmental footprint. Sustainable menu planning reflects the decisions that organizers make regarding the selection of food and beverage served at conferences and events.

We thought that “Sustainable Menu Planning” would be a great topic for our last #MeetGreenChat of the year! There was lots of discussion of how to plan a sustainable menu regardless of the size of the event. The tactics and strategies can be also be used for smaller occasions for example holiday parties or even day to day meals at home.

When planning a menu for an event what key elements are important to you while keeping sustainability in mind?

Having a plan for limiting food waste by donating and fresh local food choices were some great ideas to keep in mind during planning.

What resources do you look to for including locally sourced foods?

Working with food & beverage partners such as the chef’s for the event or catering company to include locally sourced foods were the consensus from the group.

What are some of the benefits of sourcing locally?

So many great reasons to source your food locally! Supporting local farmers, fresh foods, and reducing carbons emissions were just a few of the great ideas.

What examples have you used to include seasonal fruits and veggies on your menu?

Including seasonal fruits and veggies are a great opportunity to show case vegetarian meals and also allows for you to include locally sourced produce at the same time.

How do you verify organically certified food items during your menu planning?

Consulting the chef was a unanimous answer for organically certified food choices.

What are some examples of how you can incorporate imperfect fruits and veggies as part of your menu?

Including imperfect fruits and veggies can be a challenge but it is not impossible to utilize in your menu planning. Soups and salads are options as well as table decorations.

What tools have you used to find sustainable seafood choices?

The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch was a popular answer for this question!

When requesting sustainable coffee and tea choices from caterers, what choices are available to you?

There are many resources that are available to choose from.

What are some examples of water-wise food choices you have selected for your menus?

Salads are always a good choice and when looking for the best meat choices chicken over beef is the answer.

Sustainable food & beverage choices are not just for large events. What other types of menu planning can you put these guidelines into action?

Sustainable menu planning is not just for events it also can be incorporated at colleges, the work place, and your daily life.

We have a bonus question today! What advice can you share with us on sustainable menu planning?

Planning ahead and around the seasons as well as partnering with food and beverage teams.

The discussion on “Sustainable Menu Planning” during last weeks #MeetGreenChat had a lot of food for thought, no pun intended! Sustainable menu planning can apply to every day life to large conferences and anywhere in between. Our latest infographic can help you break it down in seven categories and for more detailed information go to our sustainable menu planning section.