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Sustainable Tables Silo Fights Against Food Waste

Chef Douglas Macmaster seeks a deeper connection between his work in the kitchen, and the environment around him. He has been a leader in a movement that has taken the restaurant industry by storm. Today’s discussion on sustainability in restaurants will focus on issues such as food waste reduction, direct trade and other environmental-related issues. Much of this is down to McMaster. He opened Silo in Brighton in, which was the very first zero waste restaurant in the UK. It is also one of the most prominent in the world. This event influenced many cooks to question their place in this effort.

Photo Matt Russell

Macmaster admits that Silo was created because of , a hedonistic pursuit. He says, “I found a superior product through the pursuit for sustainability.” He began his search for better ingredients for his dishes. This led him to pursue more research into ways to alter the consumption patterns of his business. He says It’s difficult to continue the same path when you realize how we are doing to the earth.

Waste Is A Lack In Creativity

McMaster was quick to react. He decided that Silo had to eliminate all trash, which was one of his most important motivators. He believes that waste exists only because we lack creativity and have limited knowledge about how to use certain ingredients. We can all reuse everything and not throw away.

Photo Matt Russell

He stated that Silo’s main sustainability feature sets it apart from other restaurants. does not have a bin. He explains that the restaurant has adhered to the three pillars for zero waste: direct trading, whole food preparation, and urban composting. He is an advocate of ‘upcycling over recycling. This refers to reusing ingredients to create a product that is of higher quality than the original. In this case, it would be bark, stalks and seeds. ” Silo London won’t recycle, because all of our single-use products onsite will be upcycled, these materials will feed back directly into the system. He explains his new venue in London, which will open in September. Macmaster, after 5 years living in Brighton, decided to move his project to the White Building. This space will include an experimental brewery ( CRATE), a affordable workspace, and an event space.

A Closer Relationship To The Land

Since the beginning of the sustainability-focused business, Silo has drawn inspiration from “pre-industrial food”, a concept that preaches the use of ingredients without any kind of industrial processing in the restaurant and that allows nothing to go to waste. This philosophy is directly related to the restaurant’s very existence: to strive for natural food with a closer connection to the land.

Photo Matt Russell

We will lose the best food if we don’t have natural food grown from healthy soil. While we say there is a shortage of chefs, McMaster points out that the drought caused by a shortage of young organic farmers causes a greater shortage. Silo focuses on direct trade. By working directly with farmers, they can pay them the same amount as they would have paid ‘the intermediary’ and make their business more sustainable. McMaster’s and other chefs’ work has inspired many restaurants all over the globe to promote sustainability. Everyone wants to be famous. He says he would rather have a bunch of false prophets than none at all. Sustainability will only become more relevant when we turn the tide. He concludes that if people jump on the bandwagon and don’t understand where it is going, they’ll either learn the meaning and commit to the journey, or just jump off.” We hope that more people will join us on this ride.

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