Making Use Of Food Waste: Latest Blog by the Sustainable Restaurant Association

The  Staff Canteen

How can we make the most of food waste? Good Egg founder Joel Braham talks to the Sustainable Restaurant Association about how we can really make the use of every scrap.

They say it takes a village to raise a child. Equally, every chef knows there’s way more to creating a good dish than their cooking skills. Behind every great chef there’s a whole network of producers labouring day and night to grow, rear and nurture the finest ingredients. When you consider that a third of all the amazing food produced globally never makes it to a human stomach, it’s hard to overstate the importance of making the very most of each and every scrap.

food waste
Food Waste

Food waste costs UK restaurants £2 billion per year

If food waste were a nation it would be the third largest producer of greenhouse gases, just behind China and the US. And if that’s not sobering enough for you, what about the fact that it’s costing UK restaurants more than £2 billion.

The recipe for a great chef involves equal parts inspiration and perspiration. And while in the heat of the kitchen it can sometimes feel like the balance is tipping too far towards perspiration, finding creative ways to keep food out of the bin is a brilliant way of tipping it back the other way.

Fermenting and pickling are two fine ways of winning the waste battle – and of course stretching out the seasons – allowing customers to enjoy summer gluts long into the winter months.

And what’s more, diners consistently rank food waste as one of the issues that concerns them the most. In a recent survey conducted by Harden’s for the SRA, it again ranked high among their priorities when eating out. awarma with fried cauliflower leaves  pickled beetroot stem relish The Good Egg Joel Braham.JPG
Hummus Awarma

Sustainability on the menu

Among the more than 130 recipes featured on the SRA’s new campaign website One Planet Plate, more than a quarter are designed to avoid waste.

Culinary creativity is the other unifying ingredient in these recipes; cakes baked with flour re-milled from stale bread, cocktails made with surplus fruit and veg, prawn head crispies and broccomole – a sustainable alternative to guacamole.

At The Good Egg, the kitchen team, led by Manu Canales, created a brand-new dish for the launch of the One Planet Plate campaign at its two sites in Stoke Newington and Carnaby Street, making amazing use of items that would otherwise end up in the bin.

Stunning recipes

Good Egg founder Joel Braham explains the thinking behind the stunning hummus awarma with fried cauliflower leaves & pickled beetroot stem relish: “We absolutely love coming up with recipes that reduce our kitchen waste or feature ingredients we've spent time and effort sourcing and working on with our suppliers! It gives our whole team a real buzz, and can showcase suppliers, create topics of conversation with our customers and help us do our bit to work towards lessening the impact we're having on some of the world’s biggest environmental problems!

joel baraham
Joel Braham

“We source whole saddles of rare-breed lamb from Swaledale. The chops are a huge hit and we’ve created this dish to ensure we use every bit of that sensational saddle, making crispy awarma from the trimmings – which go perfectly with hummus, deep-fried cauliflower leaves and a zingy beetroot stem relish and finely chopped carrot tops. Minimum waste, maximum taste. The perfect One Planet Plate.”

And Joel urges other restaurants to join the campaign nudging customers towards dishes that help them use the power of their appetite wisely.

One planet plate

We think One Planet Plate is a fantastic campaign because it not only focuses restaurants and other food businesses on the big problems in our food system, but also helps to highlight the amazing and ingenious things people are already doing to solve these problems, like reducing and utilising waste, lowering meat consumption, and improving sourcing.

By highlighting and promoting these dishes, awareness will grow and mindsets will adapt, encouraging other restaurants and people at home to cook and eat with these issues in mind... Which can only be a good thing!”

If you’d like to submit a recipe and serve One Planet Plate, joining more than 1500 restaurants across the UK, click here for more information.

The Sustainable Restaurant Association is a not-for-profit membership org that helps foodservice make smart, sustainable decisions through the Food Made Good campaign.

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 17th April 2018

Making Use Of Food Waste: Latest Blog by the Sustainable Restaurant Association