Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Don't waste your food!

Posted by Tony Naylor Tuesday 3 February 2009 09.02 GMT on the Observer's Word of Mouth - Food Blog.

.....Michel Roux Jr has joined the fray, explaining in his new book, A Life in the Kitchen, how he hates waste.

The majority of restaurants that aren't achieving their margins are failing because of waste. Look in their dustbins. Do they use the tops of the leeks? You certainly don't put them in the bin. You can use them in stocks and soups and sauces, or staff food. Peelings and scraps of meat are always recycled and re-used. For example, when you peel your potato and cut it into a fondant shape, you don't just throw away the rest of the potato. It can be used for mash. Potato peelings can be fried and eaten like French fries. We have them [at Le Gavroche] for staff lunch. They're wonderful crunchy and tasty. When you peel oranges ... cook the peel in sugar and you've got yourself a petit four.

And so he goes laudably on, putting langoustine heads and lobster shells to work in a bisque; using retained pork fat for pâtés and mousses; and pork skin boiled up in a ragout: "It's delicious but you have to cook it properly. It is a question of knowledge ... It's all part of the tradition of good housekeeping which has been lost."

I like to think, as a household, the occupants of Naylor Towers pay something between token and genuine interest in this kind of thing. It's a matter of saving money, but also a growing sense that we are all obliged to tread as lightly as we can on this planet, and that wasting food, of all things, is morally indefensible. Old wine is frozen to use in sauces; meat bones are (sometimes) turned into stock; old vegetables are used up rather than buying new; plastic takeaway cartons are washed and re-used during batch cooking; odds and ends of herbs and cheeses are frozen. the rest here.

So many Brits are so wasteful with their food, they throw away perfectly good food instead of using it for another meal. The statistic from the government is that we throw away 30% of our food, too high I think! Visit the Love Food, Hate Waste website for more info and for some interesting tips, it is funded by the government's WRAP project which provided the 30% figure above. I am going to go shine my shoes with old banana peels (that's what the website said you could do with them!).

No comments: