Local Nashville Restaurants Commit to Wasting Less Food

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Fifty-five restaurants from all over Nashville have joined Mayor Megan Barry’s initiative to reduce the amount of food wasted in kitchens. Restaurants such as Etch, Hattie B’s Hot Chicken, Dozen Bakery and Opry Entertainment are pledging to donate surplus food, compost food scraps and offer more flexible portions, among other measures during the Challenge that runs until May 31. Participating restaurants include a wide range of local favorites and hot spots, coffee shops, and nightlife establishments.

“These restaurants have committed to a variety of food-saving practices, and we are eager to tout their success,” Barry said. “From fine dining to classic Nashville hot chicken, I’m proud that such a wide range of chefs and restaurants are coming together in an effort to waste less food.”

“We are fortunate to have a staff that is already very cognizant of food waste,” said Merchants Chef Nick Hertel. “During the Challenge, we plan to focus on this topic during lineups, and we hope to empower our staff to be more aware of food-saving practices. One of our goals is to partner with an organization to donate surplus food.”

The Mayor’s Food Saver Challenge is a joint project with the Natural Resources Defense Council’s (NRDC) Nashville Food Waste Initiative. Nationally, 40 percent of all food in America goes uneaten, with 95 percent of that wasted food ending up in landfills or incinerators, according to NRDC. Cities play a critical role in mitigating America’s food waste. In 2015, NRDC selected Nashville as its pilot city for developing high-impact local policies and on-the-ground actions to address food waste. In partnership with the Mayor’s Livable Nashville Committee, Metro departments and other local stakeholders, the Nashville Food Waste Initiative is currently developing strategies and practical tools to serve as models for other U.S. cities. To learn more, visit https://www.nrdc.org/issues/empower-cities-holistic-food-waste-reduction-strategies.

“Nashville is leading the way for restaurants across the country to implement all types of food-saving practices,” said Darby Hoover, senior scientist at NRDC. “We look forward to learning from their experience and expanding this Challenge.”

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