Work Smart, Dine Smart

Megan O'Neill, Johnson & Wales University - Charlotte

Ms. O'Neill is a Culinary Arts/Foodservice Management major at Johnson & Wales University, Charlotte Campus, Charlotte, North Carolina. This paper was completed in the Honors Research Seminar with Professor Pat MacEnulty, Ph.D.


“If you want one year of prosperity, plant corn. If you want ten years of prosperity, plant trees. If you want one hundred years of prosperity, educate people.” (Chinese Proverb) Throughout the past decade, the act of practicing sustainability, slow food, and local food has only gained recognition and acceptance. However, with our population growing significantly, simply talking about it is no longer enough. Industries, foodservice in particular, is past due merely talking about how to fix the problem; it is time to make a change. There are so many done in the restaurant industry that contributes to the fall of our ecosystem. Considering Americans spend 48 percent of their food budget on food consumed outside the home, restaurants and those who work in them have a great deal of responsibility in rescuing the health of our planet. Fortunately, there are many ways we as companies and as individuals can make a difference everyday with minor changes in our daily routines, from water conservation, to compost and recycling, and so much more. Organizations such as the Green Restaurant Association are also making considerable strides in mending what has been nearly destroyed. Recognizing the amount of time and money not only Americans, but others throughout the world, put into dining out on a regular basis can help drastically change the “ecological footprint” the foodservice industry made.