Philadelphia Catering Is Now Offering New Healthy Lower Calorie Boxed Lunch Options

Did you know the United States is the most obese country in the world, with more than 34% of the population being classified as obese? In our nation today, millions of people are struggling with maintaining a healthy weight, which can affect countless aspects of one’s lifestyle. One of the biggest contributors to the obesity epidemic is something that is seemingly fixable, yet plays a huge role in weight gain: going out to eat.

Eating food from restaurants or fast food places is something that is convenient and quick for most people with a busy schedule. However, many people don’t know just how much they’re getting when they choose to buy food to-go. Between the huge amounts of fat, sodium, sugar, and cholesterol in each item, plus the fact that portion sizes are through the roof, the calories begin to really stack up. This, paired with the fact that many places don’t offer nutrition facts, makes it difficult for people trying to make healthier choices.

Nutritional information is clearly marked for each lunch item

This is why Philadelphia Catering is beginning a new line of boxed lunches that makes it easy to know exactly what you’re eating. Two new varieties of lunches will be offered: bagged lunches under 500 calories, and boxed lunches under 700 calories. Not only do these new options have a reasonable portion size, they also contain healthier ingredients: A fruit salad in place of pasta salad, lighter baked chips instead of regular chips, and a granola bar in the place of cookies. We have strived to make these meals taste and satisfy just as well as our regular boxed lunches, while also being a healthier option for anyone attempting to lose weight, or even just trying to be more conscious about how much they are eating.

Our new boxes and bags will be offered with every boxed lunch order, and will be labeled with stickers specifying whether it is under 500 or 700 calories and a sticker listing the calorie, fat, carbohydrate and protein content. For further nutritional information, customers can visit our website to view a full list of nutritional facts for every item.

Healthy, satisfying and all under 700 calories!

PCC 2015 Green Report: A Bump In The Road To Our Greener Future

A Bump in the Road to Sustainability

At PCC we are proud of our commitment to do our part to help the planet.  We regularly review our policies, procedures and processes to see if what changes can be made that will have a beneficial effect on the environment and work in our business model.  Some of these include improving energy efficiencies in our facility, composting and recycling our waste, offering ‘greener’ alternatives to our clients.  We began offering ‘zero-waste’ events to our clients and the enthusiasm was inspiring.  We were very proud to be one of the few caterers who had the resources to conduct small and large scale zero-waste events.   With our knowledgeable staff, compostable disposable offerings and composting service, we had become the ‘go-to’ people for sustainability in catering.  Then suddenly last summer our program encountered a major hurdle.  Our composting partner, Organic Diversion, informed us that their professional composting facility, Peninsula Compost Company, in Wilmington had been closed for an indefinite period.  All indications are that it will never reopen.

Wilmington Organics Recycling Center  - CLOSED

Wilmington Organics Recycling Center – CLOSED

The key factor to being able to conduct reduced and zero waste events is having access to a professional composting facility.  Non-food compostables such as plates, cups and utensils are made from sturdy materials including paper, leaves, and corn based resources. They are all compostable, but require the higher temperatures in composting piles achieved only in professional facilities.  It turns out this is the only facility of its kind in our area.  So for now, we are unable to provide zero-waste events.  We can still compost food waste, but this is small compared to the bulk of plates, napkins and utensils generated at events.  So we find ourselves in this paradigm shift where the greenest option is plastic.  Plastic??? Why plastic?  Plastic can be recycled.  A quick audit of our disposable items revealed that they are made of plastics #5 and #6, which can be recycled by The City of Philadelphia and University of Pennsylvania.   So a reduced waste event now consists of recycling the plastic disposables and composting the food waste.   One could argue that the compostable disposables will biodegrade quicker in the landfill, however, this process releases methane – a more potent greenhouse gas than Co2.  True there is methane released in composting, however, there is the benefit of the actual compost being returned to farms as nutrient rich soil and a reduction of the overall volume sent to the landfill.  So for now it’s plastic.  Hard to believe, when just a short while ago we were on our way to really changing the way people thought about their events and having great sustainable options.  In the meantime we will encourage recycling and continue to search for composting options and encouraging our suppliers to keep stocking compostable items so that we can step right back in when the opportunity arises.

Plastic Recycling Widely Available and Currently Our Best Option

Plastic Recycling Widely Available and Currently Our Best Option

Our periodic review of our sustainability initiatives has yielded our annual 2015 Green Report.  You will notice a decrease in green events in 2015 in comparison to 2014.  This is the disheartening reality of our composting predicament. To view the report, click this link – http://www.philadelphiacatering.com/greeninitiatives.asp.

2015 Green report

2015 Green Report

To read more about the Wilmington composting facility and a troubling conspiracy theory on Waste Management and its dubious role in this closing –  click link

Failure of the Wilmington Compost Facility Underscores Need for a Locally Based and Diverse Composting Infrastructure

Some Brotherly Love in Yosemite

Putting Some Yo! in Yosemite

Putting Some Yo! in Yosemite

Yosemite National Park.  An incredible place to visit, an even more incredible place to live.  Surrounded daily by the awesome beauty of Half Dome, El Capitan, Yosemite Falls, Vernal Falls and the list goes on.  Cool people, perfect California weather, authentic cheese steaks (cue sound effect of needle dragging across record)….I mean NO cheese steaks.  What is a former Philly girl to do?  About 10 years ago, my sister Cathy moved to Yosemite Valley to continue her teaching profession and discover her love of nature and climbing.  Living in Yosemite has been a rewarding and rich experience, however it comes at cost.  While you are surrounded with magnificence, you are also in a culinary desert.  That’s a slight exaggeration, but finding a real cheese steak in Yosemite Valley is as about as likely as finding a grizzly bear walking down Market Street.

Nothing compares to those delicious, just right chewy-soft rolls.  Urban legend says the secret is the Philly water used in the recipe that makes them impossible to duplicate.

Nothing compares to these delicious, just right, chewy-soft rolls. Urban legend says the secret is the Philly water used in the recipe that makes them impossible to duplicate anywhere else.

Cathy is a cheese steak aficionado.  A veteran of the grill – spending much time making this classic sandwich for hordes of satisfied customers in our Powelton Pizza days.  Last month I received an email from her asking if it is possible to send all the ingredients necessary for her to have a Philly cheese steak party.  Sure …no problem if you don’t mind shipping costs in the hundreds of dollars!!  She sadly declined.  We decided since her birthday was around the corner and she truly was jonesing for this great sandwich,  Philadelphia Catering Company would help her out and ship a Philly cheese steak feast to the land of grizzly bears.

Thanks to overnight shipping and dry ice, the package arrived safely.

Thanks to overnight shipping and dry ice, the package arrived safely.

The package arrived safely (and still frozen) on her birthday.  She gathered a group of her Yosemite friends and got to work making this Philly feast. As I mentioned, Cathy is a cheese steak making veteran, and like riding a bike, a skill you never forget.

Here's the beef!

Here’s the beef!

You can take a girl out of Philly, but you can never take the Philly out of a girl. Amen.

You can take a girl out of Philly, but you can never take the Philly out of a girl. Amen.

The Philly feast was a success.  Cathy’s friends enjoyed authentic Philly cheese steaks out in the wild west of Yosemite.  It was the talk of the valley. Now I’d say for sure that’s bringing some Philly Yo! into Yosemite.

Philly rule: Never discuss the calorie count of a cheese steak, especially before everyone's about to eat.

Philly rule: Never discuss the calorie count of a cheese steak, especially right before everyone’s about to eat.

Some happy campers!

Some happy campers!

Even kitty Dolomite got a sample.

Even kitty Dolomite got a sample

PCC5000- Third Annual Thanksgiving Event for Needy in Philadelphia

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By:  Julia DeCecco

Senior, Wissahickon High School

Coordinator, 2014 PCC5000 Thanksgiving Event

Julia DeCecco and Elena Pons 2014 Event Coordinators

Julia DeCecco and Elena Pons 2014 Event Coordinators

Thanksgiving: A day of warmth, family, laughter, hues of red and orange, family football games, and full bellies. A day that everyone looks forward to; one where everyone can come together and appreciate what it means to be family, friends, and simply to be alive. Tables are crammed with delicious home cooked food and family from all across the country, and happiness bubbles over the sounds of clinking glasses, forks scraping plates and joyous laughter. This is the Thanksgiving many grew up with: one that you may not think twice about.

As a volunteer with the service project PCC5000, I have been shown the true meaning of Thanksgiving and the importance of giving back. PCC 5000, a project started by Philadelphia Catering to provide 5000 meals to Philadelphia’s neediest, has forever impacted how I view this holiday. Being the third annual year of this Thanksgiving event, I continue to be struck by the abundant need in our city, and the real impact that PCC can have on the community. Partnering with Bridging the Gap Ministries, each year the hot meal that is delivered to these guests does so much more than fill their stomachs, but inspires though motivational speeches – feeding both body and spirit. Our team of tireless volunteers came together and donated their time to prepare, deliver, and serve during this busy time of year.  The event was a success as a result of their efforts, and all who participated realized that we have much to be thankful for.

Returning as volunteer each year I am more inspired by the positive influence this event brings to so many people. Thanks to all of the time and effort put into this event, each year it becomes more significant. PCC 5000 is more than just 5000 meals – it’s reaching out to 5000 people in the most important ways possible, and I am very thankful to be a part of it.

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A special Thanks to Dan Pizza of Juxta Prints for donating the T-Shirts for the volunteers of PCC 5000.  Dan and Juxta Prints provide all the staff shirts and jackets for the Philadelphia Catering Company.  They provide the highest quality printing on apparel at great prices.  When we approached Dan ask for a discount he jumped at the chance and did it for free – we can’t thank him enough.  Please visit his website and consider working with the next time you need custom printed apparel.

Dan Pizza 267.455.0076 – http://www.juxtaprints.com

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Throughout the year we get many calls to help with a multitude of worthy causes. While it is not possible to help in all cases, we do our best to contribute when we can.  This year  we partnered and contributed to the following events.  They are all great causes.  Check them out and help out if you can!