As the global population grows, so does the demand on food production and its raw materials. Agricultural food production is responsible for over 70 percent of global water demand and livestock production pollutes water resources which can further stress supply. The International Food Policy Research institutes estimates that nearly half of global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 40 percent of grain production could be at risk due to water stress by 2050.
While water scarcity has always been a concern, now more than ever, it is important for foodservice industry leaders to take proactive steps, for instance, by investing in producers that voluntarily conserve and protect water resources. The U.S. foodservice industry is beginning to pay attention to water issues as drought and groundwater depletion has impacted profits in recent years.
While there is no one universal solution for crafting menus that support water sustainability, operators can become more cognizant of where their ingredients are coming from and the initiatives their food suppliers are taking towards water sustainability. Other restaurants are opting to offer glasses of water “by request only,” calling to attention their own efforts towards water scarcity awareness. Making these efforts visible on menus or websites may also create a sense of transparency and engage consumers in a conversation about the importance of water conservation.
Source material for this post: 2018 Menus of Change Annual Report, a publication of Menus of Change, an initiative of the Culinary Institute of America and the Harvard School of Public Health. For more information, visit www.menusofchange.org.
Entegra Procurement Services regularly publishes blog posts on food trends and innovations in food services. Entegra is more than a group purchasing organization (GPO): Our team of procurement specialists implement strategic sourcing to bring the most value to your business. We help our clients, in many segments ranging from the healthcare supply chain to restaurant supply, to cut costs and consolidate their portfolios.