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One third of restaurant food waste down to portion management

Over a million tonnes of food prepared in the hospitality industry gets thrown away. And charity WRAP says 75% of it could have been eaten.The charity has the backing of some big-name chefs and chains, as well as the Government. But it’s tricky when companies have an obligation to serve up crowd-pleasing grub.

On average about a fifth of food binned across industry is spoiled, damaged or past its best. Almost half gets the chop as it’s prepped. And a third is our fault – plate waste sent back when someone cannot manage it. Salad, spuds and rice are the most over-served offenders.

WRAP has recently launched a food waste campaign called Guardians of Grub that challenges businesses of all kinds to rethink how they procure, prep and present food. IN an interview with the BBC, WRAP’s Eleanor Morris said “Business food waste is hidden; it goes into a bin and gets taken away, so it’s not really seen as a cost.But we’re all surrounded by food waste. It’s everybody’s issue whether we’re at home and whether we’re eating out.”

Zero Waste Scotland’s trial to tackle 53,000 tonnes of scraps began five years ago. The trial focused on giving out doggy bags for customers to take home their leftovers – something Angela Loftus and the team at Black Sheep Bistro in Glasgow are still keenly offering as part of their commitment to reduce stigma and boost sustainability.

In the same BBC interview Angela said,”If a plate comes back to the kitchen and staff are saying it’s being boxed up, I feel happy about that, because I know the person enjoyed it.”

“If customers see this is the norm in here then they feel more comfortable about it and they can just carry home our nice wee bag with them. It makes it look like it’s the right thing to do.”

You can join Guardians of Grub here: http://www.guardiansofgrub.com/

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