Eating at the Table of Sustainability

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Restaurants and the food industry are the most wasteful industries we have in the world. Working at a restaurant over the summer, I was able to experience this first hand. People rarely finish their large proportioned meals; entire glasses of soda, water, and alcohol are emptied into the sink. In a world where resources are limited and people are starving, witnessing the way restaurants waste food, is an abomination. Which begs the question, is there a better way we can run our restaurants to make them more sustainable? Perhaps Arthur Dawson of England has the answer. Dawson has created a series of very sustainable restaurants that eliminate the amount of waste it produces. There are several ways in which he goes about doing this. First, all of the furniture, construction materials, and dishes are made from recyclable material and can also be recycled. Any of the food that is not eaten goes into a compost pile, which eventually helps grow the roof garden that produces many of the fruits and vegetables served at the restaurant. The staff even live close by, with the chef literally living 10 feet from the restaurant in a canal boat living totally off the grid. Amongst many other techniques Dawson uses at his restaurant, he is on a mission to create the most sustainable restaurant in the world. Can restaurants follow his lead, and will it benefit or hurt them financially? I guess they’ll never know unless they dine at the table of sustainability for themselves.



  1. Interesting… this hits close to home because I am the type of person that doesn’t like to waste anything especially food. If something I buy is about to spoil I make it a point to use it before anything else. I have even gotten sick from eating something that was already bad. So maybe I take it too far sometimes, but I think a lot of people as you have pointed out do not even think about it. People are wasteful. Wasteful with their food, wasteful with their money, and wasteful of so many other things. I think there is a problem now a days with restaurants increasing their portion sizes. Not everyone can finish their meal so they leave it and again waste food and money! I like to take what I don’t eat home, but honestly I would prefer to have a smaller portion and especially pay less! I don’t need to take whatever fattening food I decided to treat myself with and eat it again. But, I hate to waste food…

  2. How is Dawson dealing with all the uneaten food.
    I have heard of restaurants serving 17 courses, but each course is no more than a morsel.
    The argument is: after you take your 3rd bite, your pallet is done with those flavors.

    One of my friends told of his experience as a dish washer, where there would be one slice of pie left in the fridge, the restaurant having to order another pie, and not having the room for two pie pans, offer his the last piece in order to make room for the new full pie!

    Now, with concern to the large portion restaurants, we just have to find a way of getting the perishable food into the mouths of the hungry. In my opinion its should be converted to rich hummus by of of COMPOST, to grow more food and enrich our depleted soil.

    Future business venture? I would say so!

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