Food Inspiration Magazine is the online magazine for foodservice professionals in search of inspiration and innovation.
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INT21 No waste
INT20 Plant centric
INT19 Food and healthcare
INT18 Reach of the chef
INT17 Vote food
INT16 Menus of change
INT13 Future cooking
INT12 Understanding the millennials
INT11 Ownership to Usership
INT10 Plant Based
INT08 Reinventing Traditions
INT05 Shift Happens
INT04 Food & Responsibility
INT03 Food & Trends
INT02 Food & Farming
INT01 Food & Tech
Better understanding of where our food comes from, stimulating a more conscious eating pattern, physical activity among employees and serving a social goal.
Text: Marcella Middendorp | Music: Lenny Kravitz - What goes around comes around
One player that had already realised for a long time that staff are looking for opportunities to combine work and gardening, is Hewlett-Packard’s office in Vancouver, Canada. Most Hewlett-Packard employees there live in flats in the city, which makes gardening almost impossible. The company garden of Hewlett-Packard was laid out 28 years ago, but has doubled in size in terms of surface area in the last two years, and requests for a piece of land, where employees can garden during working hours, keep streaming in. In contrast to the other companies mentioned, the harvest here does not go to the company restaurant, but can be taken straight home.
At Kraft Foods Chicago, a business vegetable garden is run for another reason. In 2011, the food producer started working together with the Chicago Botanic Garden in order to provide fresh vegetables and fruit, in addition to pre-packed food packages, to underprivileged families. The vegetable garden here, with a surface area of 1 km2, is also on the company site. The entire harvest is used to benefit local food banks and soup kitchens. Kraft expects to be able to harvest enough food for approximately 28,000 meals per year.
If you eat at Google, you can assume that at least 45% of the food is produced organically, according to Executive Chef Scott Giambastiani. Google is striving to increase this percentage even more in the future, also taking into account the distance that the food travels before it arrives at the company restaurants. The standard has already been set by Google’s Venice Beach office in California. All the food here, except the semi-manufactured goods, is bought from local farmers, gardeners and companies. Since the end of 2010, the employees at the Venice Beach office, and those from the Google Mountain View headquarters, also tend to their own vegetable garden. Although this can by no means provide the food requirements for all employees at these locations, Google hopes that the importance of organically grown food can, in this way, be brought to the attention of its staff in an even broader way.
Chesapeake energy in Oklahoma, a company that specialises in natural gas production, has grown organic vegetables thanks to the efforts of its own staff. More than 300 employees are involved in the project. The idea arose during a meeting with employee representatives, who wanted to create more variety in their activities. You can read updates about the progress in the project on the menus of the four company restaurants at Chesapeake. The annual ‘watermelon competition’, a contest to see who can grow the heaviest watermelon, is the highlight of the year.
Better understanding of where our food comes from, stimulating a more conscious eating pattern, physical activity among employees and serving a social goal. All reasons why a number of trendsetting companies, especially in America, have started vegetable garden projects in recent years. But the fun factor is also important, because it’s nice to participate yourself in a more healthy lunch.Then that lettuce and those tomatos in the salad bar suddenly taste so much better.