August 2019 Newsletter
Dear Friends,

It's getting more and more challenging to avoid taking an active role in how we feed people and take care of our resources and communities. Every day we're discovering more negative effects from the way we have been eating and feeding each other the past few decades. A new report released this month by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) explains that land use must change to prevent further decline to our global food security. Additionally, preliminary, small-scale research points to the negative health effects of a processed food diet.

As a nation we're making changes. People are expressing their displeasure at the sweetness of foods on Amazon, surprising researchers intending to look at the ways people reported bitterness in foods. Meanwhile, the Minneapolis City Council on Thursday voted unanimously to prohibit new drive-through fast-food restaurants, drugstores, and banks according to planning documents . Soon, institutional food service leaders will be responsible not only for their own bottom line, but the well-being of their eaters, the health of the greater community, and the economic wealth of the region, as well as taking an active role in bridging the gap to create a more equitable society.

We're grateful to be on this journey with you and for all you are doing to make our world a better place to live.
Recipe of the Month
Sweet Potato Black Bean Burgers
Our Chicago school food service company provides fresh, scratch-cooked foods that kids love in a zero waste kitchen. More than half of the meals are plant based that impress the youngest eaters. Try a meatless Monday with sweet potato black bean burgers topped with lettuce, tomato, and avocado.
4 Easy Steps to Reduce Waste
Looking for a few extra dollars for fresh and local food?
Step 1. Measure Plate Waste

Measuring the plate waste helps inform what and how much people are eating. Plate waste is the food that people put on their plates and then throw away. From the plate waste data collected we focus on improving the meals and portion sizes to reduce the waste and find extra dollars to purchase fresh, local foods.
Education tip: At Lincoln Elementary School District 27 we created a video to teach students how to separate their waste. The video will be shown in classrooms on the first day of school.
Step 2. Measure Waste in the Kitchen

Beyond Green Partners offers school meal program services for the Chicago area with fresh, scratch-cooked foods that kids love, made in a zero-waste kitchen. We think of this as our learning food laboratory from which to develop ideas to support institutional kitchens operate more sustainably.

Watch this video to see how we separate waste in eight different categorize to eliminate more than 99% of the waste produced.

In 2018 we diverted 99.59% of our waste from the landfill. This included 43,747 pounds of composted food scraps to be turned into soil for growing more delicious and nutritious food.

The chart below shows how we measure the kitchen waste data.
Step 3. Portion Food by Weight and Weigh Overproduction

The Beyond Green Partners Chicago school food service division delivers 2,531 meals (breakfast, lunch, and snacks) daily with zero leftovers. We do this by weighing portions on a scale daily. Whether we are hand-breading chicken fingers, cubing cheese, or dicing fruit, we weigh all food on a scale.

By making the exact amount of food needed, we eliminate waste and are able to purchase higher quality ingredients. We identify more than fifty percent of the ingredients we serve as clean foods: local, organic, grass-fed, or hormone and antibiotic free.

The Beyond Green Partners kitchen doesn't have any waste, but when you are first starting, we suggest you weigh kitchen overproduction on a scale and keep track of the overproduction amounts by meal. You can look at trends to eventually determine how much food to make.

Watch this video to see how we use scales to measure portions.
Step 4. Place Waste Containers at Every Kitchen Work Station

How does the Beyond Green Partners kitchen maintain a 28% food cost and 28% labor cost?

We practice being efficient in our production. Rather than running around the kitchen to gather ingredients and equipment or making hundreds of trips to the garbage can daily, our cooks keep everything they need, including waste containers, at their work stations. Spending less energy to be more productive: this is what we strive for on a daily basis and it's how we keep our costs down and food quality up.
Missed Us at Sustainatopia?
Highlights of Chef Greg's Presentation at Sustainatopia: Money4Good in Miami in April 2019
Bringing our food system to the next level means taking care of human well-being and the environment. We all know the problems. Here we discuss some of the solutions in implementing a sustainable kitchen.
Institutional Kitchen Training
Finished a great month of training school districts in Lincoln, Illinois and Washington D.C. Armed with improved culinary and leadership skills, these schools are ready for the 2019/2020 school year!

Through hands-on activities participants practiced production schedules, waste management, standardizing recipes, goal setting, modeling best practices in kitchen communication, accountability, integrity, developing community partners, connecting the classroom to the cafeteria, team work, customer service, and more. The teams visited local farms and learned what happens before the food arrives at the school.
Thanks again for the continued support. Drop us a line (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or the old fashioned way), we would love to hear from you!


Greg Christian and the Beyond Green Sustainable Partners Team