a more sustainable future for all
It is not just what we put into our bodies that is important it is the impact that the production and packaging of that food also has on our environment that should be considered. I was happy to hear of the governments proposed ban on plastic straws but until it is a signed deal I remain sceptical that it will happen soon. I have been handing back straws to bemused bartenders for years. The hospitality go to is automatically putting straws in customers drinks, sometimes even two without asking. I predict at least 60% get a quick stir at best, not even a touch to the lips before they are discarded and added to the trash at the end of the night. Packaging is a problem and straws are the tip of the plastic berg that is filling up landfills and oceans world wide.
We can't wait for governments to change policies and old beasts of industry to go green over night it is very much down to the public to vote by action and try and change our behaviours. It is hard when 80% of supermarket bought goods come in a plastic wrap, but there are movements happening to try and push big corporations into change. The recent protest in Tesco, Bath saw shoppers leave their plastic in the store after unwrapping their goods!
The Green movement is growing in this area too, wonderful social enterprises such as The Bulk Food Market are bringing back whole food shopping at affordable prices to London shoppers. There is a movement happening all over the UK and it is grass roots initiatives like this that will help us move away from the plastic cancer that has infected our food chain.
What are we doing?
All our take away packaging and napkins will be made from 100% recycled paper and plants. We will encourage you to bring your own cup for T/A, and will give you a discount off your coffee when you do. However most plastic will come from our food deliveries, we get this.
We will work with bulk suppliers for our whole grains, pulses, nuts and seeds. Luckily most wholesale fruit and veg comes straight from the market and use boxes rather than expensive plastic wraps as the food is typically consumed within a few days of purchase. We will buy class B fruit this means it is just as nutritious and healthful but may not win any beauty contests. Supermarkets don't want this produce as they push growers for model grade fruit, as in life we know that its whats inside that counts so to save waste we will turn these ugly ducklings into beautiful food.
This is another issue that kills me in the hospitality industry , not forgetting the horrific food waste from our food retailers and manufactures, the food discarded by cafes and restaurants was over 600,000 tonnes in 2009 alone! I was first made aware of the food waste crisis by Tristram Stuart one of the pioneers for food waste eduction in the UK. This is again something in our power to change. Responsible portions sizes (more of an issue with our US friends), prep and portion control in the kitchen with menu management and a plan for left over made product at the end of the day.
Sadly EHO today takes common sense out of food production. The management and elimination of food born illness in vital in hospitality but strict rules on use by dates means most pastries, cakes and pre made sandwiches although perfectly good must be made and sold in the same day. There will always be something left over and if the team don't take them home we will be ensuring nothing goes in the bin! The amazing Peoples Fridge and clever app Good to Go help business ensure their food does not go to waste - You can also contact a local shelter or make a connection with local homeless people to arrange daily collections of food left at the end of the day. Everyone is important in our communities and we have a duty of care to help the less fortunate.
Being ethical and sustainable is a 360 package and should be considered in every part of your business, simply being a plant based venue is not enough. The vegan lifestyle and values need to underpin all that we do and having a platform and voice to help and showcase what is possible in sustainable hospitality is so important to me and the Clean Slate brand x