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Waste not: Five UK restaurants cutting down on food waste

With sustainability increasingly on the agenda, restaurants across the UK are doing more to reduce their food waste. Here are five to try.

Published 16 Aug 2019, 16:00 BST
Spring tapas at Poco
Spring tapas at Poco.
Photograph by Benjamin Pryor

1. Farmacy, London
Camilla Fayed opened Farmacy in 2016 because, she says, she struggled to find healthy vegan food that was both seasonal and sustainable. Here, as little as possible goes to waste: broccoli and cauliflower stalks are used in pickles, and leftover produce finds its way into salads.

2. Poco, Bristol
Brunch spot by day and tapas bar by night, Poco composts and recycles close to 100% of its waste. Look behind the scenes and you’ll find a board in the kitchen offering tips for cutting down on waste. What’s more, each dish has a built-in ‘rescue recipe’ for making use of any leftovers; excess mackerel, for instance, can be transformed into escabeche (a pickled fish dish).

3. Silo, London
Having left its Brighton site behind, modern British restaurant Silo is set to relaunch in east London this September. Dishes are created with whole ingredients in mind, reducing what’s left over, and an on-site compost machine will be used for scraps and trimmings. The team even churns its own butter, rolls its own oats and makes its own almond milk so as to minimise waste and packaging.

4. Arbor, Bournemouth
The menu may have a mix of influences — from Indian to Korean — but the ingredients here are all as local and sustainable as possible. Arbor has won awards from the Sustainable Restaurant Association for its efforts, which include opting for small deliveries in order to cut down on spoilage, encouraging guests to take home leftovers, sending used oil to be turned into biofuel and using honey from the onsite beehive.

5. Sat Bains, Nottingham
Known for championing artisan producers and local suppliers, chef Sat Bains has spent the past few years working to make his two-Michelin-starred restaurant greener. A high-tech composting system cuts food waste by up to 90% and provides nutrients for produce grown in the Victorian glasshouses.

Published in Issue 6 of National Geographic Traveller Food.

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