I decided to consult a friend who is a chef regarding my trashing the tomatoes rant and his input not only surprised me, but in the end, he offered a brilliant and quite viable solution that would be easy to implement in every home and restaurant.
My friend the chef is passionate about the food he serves; it has to be perfect. He says that his number one concern is giving his customer a meal of gastronomic delight that doesn’t make them sick. In my tomato example he says that as a chef he would never want to spread any disease like Hepatitis, even though the chances of something like this happening in my example are near zero.
“I would eat the tomatoes myself,” he says, “but even if every single person in that hot dog line said, ‘Hey, it’s cool. Go ahead, serve those tomatoes,’ I would not do it. I’d throw them in my compost bin.”
“That’s great!” I roared. And it really is! “But . . . no restaurants have a compost bin.”
It would be the perfect solution. I thought about suggesting composting in that last rant, but really believed it was just wishful thinking. That is, until I spoke to my friend. That’s really the whole point – I don’t care if something gets ‘trashed’ in the compost bin; it’s the mindless waste and filling up our landfills that I have a problem with. Plus, nationwide composting in restaurants would create enough quality mulch to solve alot of our nation’s oil-based fertilizer problem that’s raping the planet of nitrogen reserves.
According to Lester Brown’s book, Plan B (which every single person absolutely should read in my opinion), US agriculture in 2004 produced 11.8 billion bushels of corn and used 10 billion tons of nitrogen-based fertilizer to do it. A bushel is not that big – 35.24 liters – compared to one ton of fertilizer. Incidentally that nitrogen-based fertilizer is made with – that’s right – petroluem products. This is an unsustainable model; composting on a massive scale is not only sustainable, it is viable.
This viability is key. The oil-government powers that be, who incidentally subsidized those same 2004 farmers to the tune of $4.5 billion in taxpayer dollars (to enrich their oil empire), would say that composting on a massive scale is not viable and too complicated and that restaurants would never be able to implement such a system.
My friend the chef says otherwise. He worked for two years at a four star restaurant in Yellowstone Park and they composted every single scrap available. What’s more is that the corporate restaurant he worked for actually made money in the composting business. Lots of money, according to my friend.
So, guess what corporate restaurant America?? Lots of money can be made on trash. And a four star, sustainable and massive composting model is already in operation.