For foodservice cooks, reducing costs is the strongest driving force in order to save resources. But there are still other motives.
By Dieter Mailander
Resources are usually scarce, almost always expensive, and seldom endlessly available. Some regenerate automatically, at least partially (water, wind energy); others are utilized with either a heavy burden for the environment such as brown coal for electricity (mined predominately with surface consuming strip mining). Other technologies are environmentally friendlier, at least ostensibly, for instance, electricity from nuclear energy, but postpone serious problems in the future. Therefore today, there isn’t an environmentally neutral plan to dispose of fuel rods. And: in spite of all of the high safety standards of modern nuclear power plants, there is a risk of a worst-case scenario greater than zero with irreparable consequences as Fukushima has shown. Therefore, it makes sense to examine from which source the electricity comes from for one’s own operations and, as the case may be, choose green electricity.
Water – an Ecological Key Resource
Water is one of our most sensitive resources: The United Nations recommend using only 20% of the renewable amount. If 40% are used, then it is ecologically precarious. The so-called “water stress” occurs, if 60% are consumed, at 80%, the experts speak of a “water crisis”. In Europe, between 0.6% (Croatia) and 44% (Malta) of the renewable resources of freshwater are being used up; the figures of most of the countries are between just under 20 and a good 30%. Viewed from this perspective, the consumption values of the European countries are alright. By way of comparison: the worldwide frontrunner in consumption is Kuwait (2,075%), the United Arab Emirates (1,867%), Saudi Arabia (943%) and Libyan (823%).
Water Consumption per Processed Article
One comes to an entirely different result if one apportions the amount of water, which is used for producing a foodstuff, to private or commercial consumers locally: for example, to the visitor of a lunch counter of a convenience store in Germany, or the guest of a restaurant in Bulgaria. Furthermore, highly industrialized European countries, in particular, are even way up on top in the ranking also due to manufacturing of meat. Water is needed for feeding animals and especially for producing their fodder (particularly critical is soya, for which rain forests have been lumbered off for their cultivation area), cleaning stables, processing meat and transportation.
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