Guide to Sustainable Menu Planning

Sustainable menu planning reflects the decisions that organizers make regarding the selection of foods and beverages served at conferences and events. The choice of food and beverages can have a big impact on an event’s environmental footprint. There are many lenses through which one can look at food options including: local, organic, seasonal, and water-wise. Often these lenses overlap, but sometimes choices need to be made between various options.

The goal of this guide is to inform organizers of the sustainable options that exist, to encourage the selection of environmentally-friendly options, and to recognize opportunities for educating attendees on the benefits of making healthful and environmentally-responsible choices.

Locally Produced Foods

The money that is spent with local farmers and growers stays close to your event’s location, improving the local economy.

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Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables

Seasonal food is generally fresher and often tastes better than food grown out of season.

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Certified Organic Foods

Organic farming practices reduce pollution,
conserve water, reduce soil erosion, increase soil fertility, and use less energy.

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Imperfect Fruits and Vegetables

Using imperfect fruits and vegetables helps minimize food waste.

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Sustainable Seafood

Thriving ocean ecosystems are important for the health of the entire planet.

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Sustainable Coffee and Tea

Sustainable coffees and teas are grown and harvested in a socially and environmentally-responsible manner.

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Water-Wise Fruits, Vegetables, and Meat

Reducing or eliminating animal products from our diet can significantly help water conservation efforts.

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