Purslane is anything but your average catering company. Founded in 2012 as the catering arm of a larger restaurant group in Brooklyn, it has since evolved to pioneer the way in delicious zero-waste food catering and at-home meal solutions.To learn more about what zero-waste food actually means and why it’s important for everyone to consider at home, we caught up with Michelle Gabriel, the Head of Business Development at Purslane to pick her brain on how they have prioritized a conscious business approach even during the height of a pandemic.
Hi Michelle! Can you start by telling us how Purslane defines and implements zero-waste practices throughout the business?
The term “zero-waste” can be a confusing phrase since there’s so much overuse of “all-natural” jargon in advertising. Purslane operates under the conviction that we’ll never send waste to a landfill, which includes food, operational, and packaging waste. We’ve managed the lifecycle of all of our food production, office operations, and delivery waste to ensure that everything we consume either gets composted or recycled properly. While we’re not claiming to be perfect, Purslane has taken extra steps to partner with an excellent hauler that composts a wide range of food and paper products, and we pay premiums to recycling services to ensure that soft plastics are recycled as well.
Since Purslane was mainly focused on event catering prior to COVID-19, how has your business shifted to meet your customers at home?
It goes without saying that a large portion of our business was put on hold once events were canceled due to the NYC shutdown. However, our team saw this as an opportunity to expand our brand into a more direct-to-consumer direction. We’ve been dreaming about launching our own at-home delivery boxes of pre-cooked meals and grocery items, but this situation definitely forced us to expedite the process. Purslane Provisions is our solution for continuing to offer people the high-quality and delicious zero-waste meals we were offering at our events before. We’re proud to bring our carbon-neutral, zero-waste service to our customers’ homes by delivering chef-prepared meals, fresh local produce, and quality pantry staples!In addition, we’ve been able to use our catering services to provide hospitals and other health care organizations with healthy catered meals. It’s an honor for us to be providing sustainable and nourishing meals to those that need it most during these times.
How can someone get motivated and start to focus on reducing waste at home?
It’s important to remember that everything’s connected! While larger issues, such as climate change, world hunger, or poverty, can feel out of our control, we’re in control of our daily choices. The choices we make within our homes and through our purchases can truly have an impact on the greater world.To be fair, trying to overhaul your entire life to be more sustainable can be incredibly overwhelming. My advice is to simply start with awareness: take inventory of your purchasing behavior and how much waste you create daily. Then, start to make small changes such as buying dry goods in bulk or bringing a bag with you to the grocery store. For food waste, there are also wonderful local organizations and community gardens that will accept food waste for composting! Start with the small steps and slowly change your behavior one item at a time.