Ross Derrick, manager at Codfathers Seafood Market and owner, Jonathan Crofts deliver fish in their reusable bins to Chef, Chris Braun at RauDZ Regional Table. (Tess Oljaca/Capital News)

Okanagan chefs leave styrofoam off the menu

The Okanagan Chefs Association looks to create a greener future

The Okanagan Chefs Association is looking to create a greener future.

An idea devised by Chef Rod Butters of RauDZ Regional Table and Chef Bernard Casavant, director of operations for RauDZ and chairman of the association, brought forward a motion last year to find a more eco-friendly alternative to styrofoam for deliveries to restaurants.

“I think it (the idea) was really born out of frustration by Rod, it’s ridiculous how much food comes in styrofoam,” said Casavant.

The four restaurants run by Butters have already transitioned away from plastic straws and styrofoam take-away containers. Casavant says that perishable and temperature sensitive products such as cheese and seafood are usually delivered n styrofoam. They are currently speaking with Gordon Food Services and Sysco Corporation about the move to a greener future.

“We are reengaging with suppliers and saying that we are no longer interested in having a part in this brutal environmental impact,” he said. “Rod and I both said it’s about time, it’s our environment.”

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When the duo presented the idea to the association again Casavant says there were smiles and nods coming from around the table. The movement has already been making its way around the country. President of the association, Jeremy Luypen has brought forward the motion to a regional meeting with chefs from Western Canada.

At the meeting, Codfathers Seafood Market owner, Jon Crofts announced that they would switch to reusable totes to transport their fish to restaurants.

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“We made the decision because it was honestly going to save us money in the long run and be better for the environment,” said Crofts. In the restaurant they have already discontinued styrofoam take-out containers and switched to biodegradable containers.

A lot of the fish that comes into the store comes in styrofoam, Crofts says that he will be working with his suppliers to discontinue their use of styrofoam as well.

“The stuff that bugs me is the single use plastic that just gets tossed. I love that a lot of our customers come in with reusable shopping bags,” said Croft.

Butters was unavailable for comment because he is in Thailand.

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