More than just food...
When it comes to food by-products, there is actually more to the problem than meets the eye.
Food waste categories include:
- Oversupply of produce
- Excess prepared food
- Fat/oil waste produced as a by-product during cooking
- Food packaging including both recyclable and non-recyclable materials
As you can see there is a lot more to think about than just the produce itself!
A circular food economy produces organic, healthy food using natural and regenerative soil-supporting growing practices. Any by-products or waste are used to help generate new crops or act as bioenergy inputs.
We will be using these organic by-products as part of a rich and fertile compost for our vegetable gardens. These vegetable gardens will benefit our guests as well as the local community, nourishing people with seasonal home-grown, organic fruit and vegetables. Read more below about our planned gleaning practices.
If you have any experience or advice in the area of composting or regenerative soil-supporting practices, we would love to hear about your best practise solutions! Either leave a comment on this blog, drop us an email or contact us on any of our social media channels.
Our Hotel Group’s approach to gleaning
Gleaning has been an important part of social welfare for well over 2000 years. These days, the practice has dwindled but there is a rising trend to ensure that any leftover crops and food does not go to waste. With 1.3 billion tons of food being wasted around the world, it is of great importance to us (and will be for our guests!) that this is limited at our retreats.
Gleaning is the act of collecting leftover crops from farmers’ fields after they have been commercially harvested or on fields where it is not economically profitable to harvest – Wikipedia.
We already have plans in place to convert some of our vegetable beds into gleaning beds for island locals to come and take whatever they want and need.
We will also be establishing a cooperative partnership with a range of restaurants on the island, whereby any excess food can be shared between all of us and used accordingly.
We hope that the combination of our gleaning approach and cooperative partnerships will help eliminate food waste across the island; sharing our love of fresh food culture and making it more accessible to the local community.
It is so important to us to work with and give back to the local community and we have planned our retreat with the current island inhabitants at the forefront of our minds.
Where we need the most support is associated to cooked food waste:
- Fat waste
- Non-recyclable food waste such as cooked foods and meat
How can we sustainably dispose of this waste, and if possible recycle as much of it as we can? We are very aware of microbe contamination and need expert advice on how to dispose/process of these types of waste in the most organic way possible.
For example, we know that fat traps are a great solution for dealing with fat waste in kitchen sinks but are the chemicals used in these traps environmentally safe; do they contaminate grey water?
And for recycling cooked food; we know there are solutions out there eg Green Johanna but are these effective on a commercial scale?
If you or anyone you know has experience with these topics please get in touch!
So over to you sustainability champions …
We need your knowledge and experience to help us deliver our commitments!
This call also goes out to everyone interested in limiting food waste, circular food processes, waste sharing, cooperative food waste systems, permaculture - this list goes on. We encourage you to share this article with your friends and family and get in touch.