Interesting Times in LA

Last week, Los Angeles Times columnist David Lazarus penned this op-ed calling for more leftover sharing by restaurants, hotels and caterers. He even suggested making it mandatory for these food businesses to tell customers that they can donate the unserved food.

For the clients who choose to donate the food, the restaurant, hotel or caterer would then list the leftovers online in a so-called Craigslist for cuisine, that would match donors and recipients.

The piece prompted some objections, like this response from a local caterer.

What the saga really shows is that there’s no reliable, large-scale food recovery group in LA. That seems unfathomable, but perhaps the city’s sprawl and traffic are partly to blame. If such a city-wide group did exist, it would alleviate the need to legislate solutions.

There have been some positive steps from the City of Angels. The L.A. City Council just approved member Jose Huizar’s proposal that all city departments adopt policies facilitating donation of leftover food from public programs and events to organizations that feed the hungry.

“I’m looking at the City of Los Angeles to be an example to others,” Huizar said. “Donating surplus food should be as common as recycling. It should be part of our everyday lives.”

Old friend State Senator Jenny Oropeza, who had her reasonable bill on food recovery shot down by the restaurant industry in 2008, has a new, even more modest proposal in the senate. Her bill would make the state Department of Food and Agriculture and the Department of Public Health put information on their sites about the (federal) Good Samaritan law. Doesn’t sound like too much to ask for.

This entry was posted in Events, Food Recovery, Restaurant and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.