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Our Operating Principles

We strive to be leaders in building a sustainable future and making a positive impact on the planet. To this end, we continuously monitor the market and the changing needs of our clients for the best solutions, keeping in mind our stewardship and long-term goals.


Making a Positive Impact

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Seafood Sustainability

Food For Thought follows the guidelines of Monterrey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch list and purchases seafood from suppliers who are MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) certified. These two regulatory organizations promote sustainable fishing practices and lower the impact that commercial fishing has on the ecosystem.

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Cage Free

In 2017, Food For Thought led the industry by utilizing cage free eggs in its corporate catering kitchen and contracted Dining Services locations.  As of 2019, 100% of the shell and liquid eggs in Food for Thought's supply chain are cage-free. They are not only safer, but support animal welfare goals.

Where's the Beef?

Is an initiative to reduce our contribution of CO2 and methane gas by cutting back our in-house protein consumption at least 20% annually. Meatless Monday is both an environmental and personal health win - we invite you to try it!

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Green Chemical

Why not?  We are striving to replace all cleaning products with eco-safe, green alternatives. Currently at 85%, we have set a goal to achieve 100% by 2025.

Image by Kelly Sikkema

Sustainable Packaging 
& Serviceware

We understand that we create impact through the our products and services.  We utilize sustainable second-generation (recycled) single use products whenever possible. We are proud of our 90% internal compliance measure in this area.  Our partners include Verterra, made from pressed fallen palm leaves, EcoProducts cups, plates and flatware


Waste Not - Want Not

We have a philosophy that tasty food should be sustainable food. Through our Root-to-Stalk menu design, strategic sourcing, and education we can reduce our contribution to the food waste stream (approximately 1/3 of all food produced). Hunger is unnecessary and we are joining forces with others whose goal it is to solve this global issue.


Just Do Right

We are helping to bring about positive change, ensuring the chicken, eggs, beef and pork we source comes from suppliers who share our commitment to animal health and welfare. Our selection of suppliers and providers is based on their commitment and growing a better tomorrow.

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Our 5 Menu Philosophies

(1.) Offer clients lower impact selections in our menus including: Vegetable-Forward Dishes, Cage-Free Eggs, Ethically-Sourced Ingredients, Responsibly-Sourced Seafood.


(2.) Utilize local Midwest producers and seasonal items whenever possible.


(3.) Supply sustainable serviceware, plates, cups, and flatware.


(4.) Work to reduce the food industry's wasting of 1/3 of all food products produced.


(5.) Continuously educate our staff and customers to create positive change.

Plan 2025


Being a urban Midwest business we are proud of our commitment to Local, Sustainable Women and Minority sourcing.  Our current ratio is 1 in 4 purchases are made from these companies.  As market availability grows our commitment for 2025 is that 50% of all purchases come from these organizations.


Our awareness of the food waste issue has inspired us to continue to work at reducing our impact in this area. In 2015, the USDA joined with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency setting a goal to cut our nation’s food waste by 50% by the year 2030. We are presently at a 5% waste or 95% utilization with a 2025 goal to reduce waste to 2% of all food purchases.


Although at its infancy the movement of reusable foodware in quickservice restaurant environments and corporate feeding is gaining momentum. It saves trees, reduces oil consumption, reduces C02 and reduces contributions to the waste stream. All good reasons to embrace! As new products come to market and public acceptance grows, we will lead and implement programs to support.



We realize the quest is never complete and we can never assume a posture that we are done.
The responsibility is large and we all must contribute to the solution, so no we can never do enough.

Proud Member of:

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Positive Change Organizations

Headquarter: Midwest, USA

Industry: Food Suppliers


There are almost two million farms in the USA. With a goal of lowering our food miles and supporting local growers a big shout out to a few of Food For Thoughts local farm partners and friends in the industry.  Support them and all local growers.  The product is great, and you dine with purpose.


Headquarters: Chicago, IL

Industry: Produce Supplier


Testa’s facility holds a LEED® Platinum Certification from the United States Green Building Council. The facility is the first LEED® Platinum Refrigerated Food Distribution Facility in the United States. The building was designed with a minimal carbon footprint and features renewable energy sources including: Wind Turbine energy production, Solar Hot Water Heating, and pole mounted Photovoltaic panels in the parking area. It has a Green Roof and the capability to make substantial re-use of rainwater through several techniques including bio swales, cisterns, and a graywater system for non-potable water use.


Headquarter: Midwest, USA

Industry: Food Suppliers


Living Water Farms, owned and operated by the Kilgus/Schneider families, is a small sustainable family farm located in the heart of Illinois farmland focused on growing the highest quality specialty greens and micro greens year round for top chefs, select distributors, and local retail throughout the Midwest.

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