Learn the Basics of Sustainable Food Purchasing


Operators across industries are looking for ways to lower their environmental impact. A great place to start is with sustainable food purchasing. But if you’re planning to make a change that effects your procurement process, you’ll want to make sure you know the basics first.

Read on to learn some of the basic terms used to describe sustainability concepts. Do you have questions about carbon emissions and related concepts? Learn more here.

Organic food signage on modern supermarket fresh produce vegetable aisle to appeal to healthy lifestyle shoppers

Eco Term: Organic

If a product is labelled as organic, that means that it was produced without any use of fertilizers, pesticides or GMOs. To be labelled as organic, a product must receive certification from the USDA.


Eco Term: Circular Economy

If you’re researching sustainable food purchasing, this is one of the first terms you may come across. Creating a circular economy is the primary goal of many groups when it comes to reducing environmental impact. The idea is to get as much use out of materials as possible. This means reusing and eventually recycling materials rather than immediately disposing of them. That’s what makes a circular economy different from a linear economy, in which a product is made, used, then disposed of.

circular economy. product is recycled. management concept. - Vector

When considering the best options for your restaurant there are a few things to keep in


Does your location have the ability to use reusable disposables? This is the best option even factoring in soap, water, and labor.

Interested in buying compostable products? First check if there is a commercial composting center in your area.

Can you utilize recycled or reduced material products? This cuts down on virgin materials being used to create new products.

The key is to not only look at the purchase, but also the full life cycle of the product. Plus, you’ll want to provide the proper collection areas for these items. To learn more about the differences amongst composable, recyclable, reusable packaging, read our article here.

Eco Term: Food Waste

Cook cuts red cabbage with a knife. Cooking vegetable salad in the restaurant kitchen. Vegetable diet idea.

Food waste comes in many forms such as throwing away product that does not meet appearance standards, food not being prepped with waste in mind, or not using leftover product creatively. But where there are many causes there are just as many ways to prevent food waste. For example, look on your order guide for Imperfectly Delicious Produce that might have some aesthetic imperfections that do not impact the dish’s taste.

Informed Choices Make a Difference


Whether your focus is on sustainable food purchasing or spend reduction, getting all the information on programs is an essential part of the procurement process. Ask a Foodbuy account manager about our options today.

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