The world has changed and is changing still. Yet we can’t fully comprehend the change that is occurring. There have been many people and institutions that have talked about this change, but their voices were never actually heard. It seemed more like background noise.
At least until now.
Now you can go anywhere and they’ll demonstrate how they are being sustainable or eco-friendly, but what does it really mean to be sustainable or eco-friendly? And why do so many people suddenly seem to care?
What we’re experiencing is the advent of a truly circular economy. This is a major upgrade from the traditional “take-make-waste” economy. It is a conscientious and cost-effective way to get the full use of what we as human beings consume, in all aspects of our lifestyles from what we eat to what we purchase to how we dispose of waste.
In the restaurant business, food is a responsibility. It is but one facet of our ultimate goal, which is to provide a memorable experience, but it is the most integral. We want to elevate our patrons’ awareness about food in the sense that they notice the difference between what is available at different locations, based on both seasonality and agricultural geography. This approach is what transforms a restaurant into an entity built on the foundation of wellbeing and a healthy lifestyle. We want our patrons to understand hospitality in a broader sense.
These days many restaurants use terms, such as, “farm to table,” or “sustainability” in trying to contribute to the circular economy, but what do those terms mean? They are like what we were taught in school to, “reuse, reduce, recycle.” They revere and reference a simpler time, prior to industrialization and mass corporate production, when farms were the primary sources of food, many family-run, with time to cultivate the land and produce something that was as meaningful as it is tasteful.
Imagine the average grocery experience where you buy a tomato that was packaged and sent from a different state. You cut a piece of it and its flavorless and mushy, but you don’t notice because this is what you’re accustomed to.
However, what if you had a tomato grown by a local farm? There is no fancy packaging and perhaps it is imperfectly shaped and there is a bit of dirt, of earth. But when you cut a piece and eat it, you immediately experience the fullness of its flavor. It’s sweet, but with a hint of sour and you can feel that and you just experienced something natural that was grown the old-fashioned way and you gained that knowledge. Being sustainable also extends to how we produce what we eat and what we drink.
In the world we live in today, we progress rapidly, but we don’t develop new ways to make the world a better place. Perhaps it’s time to return to our roots and do more things the old-fashioned way and cultivate unique products of quality and taste and use them to their full extent — starting with the food we eat, what we put in our bodies.
This may seem small for some, but for many, including all of us at Toscana Divino Hospitality Group, it’s critical because we believe that even something small can become bigger with time and dedication and these changes enable us to build a better future for ourselves and for future generations.