An Olympic Appetite: Catering for London 2012

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OlympicsCatering for a 500 person event is a logistical challenge, but try having to prepare 14 MILLION meals at 40 locations on a round the clock basis over the course of a few weeks. That is what caterers at the London Games this summer face.  Serving both athletes and audiences, London 2012 claims to be the largest peace-time catering operation in the world according to their site.

Possibly even more impressive is the food itself. Olympic organizers are planning to focus on dishes that are fresh, local, and healthy. 330 tons (A ton is 2200 pounds!) of fresh fruits and veggies; 100 tons of meat; and 21 tons of cheese will be shipped to London from 800 different sources. The procurement network of farms setup for the London Games will set the precedent for sustainable food delivery in London for many years to come.

London is setting the bar high for city food systems. The Olympics will serve food nearly exclusively from the UK, helping to reduce fuel emissions and supporting local agriculture. Sustainable fish and poultry will be used whenever possible. Even main Olympic sponsor, McDonald’s, is managing to use UK sustainable food products in its menu. This is truly an awesome thing to hear.  Several organizations such as Sustainable Fish City are working to keep London green even after the games. It is an extremely promising sign that smart food practices are being adopted by some of the world’s largest food producers. Santoni’s certainly hopes this  trend will continue and is doing all we can here in Glyndon to promote a healthier future.

While the food is coming from the UK, much of the menu is quite worldly.  London, no stranger to international cuisine, is home to people from 195 of the 205 countries in the Olympics. Much of the foods at the Games were inspired by foodie paradise Borough Market, which dates back to the 11th Century.

This London Games has presented an awesome array of flavors and foods at an incredibly impressive scale. The emphasis on local sourcing and sustainable meats is a step in the right direction for the international food community. Santoni’s applauds the efforts of the Olympic Caterers for their commitment to high quality food and sourcing practices.