Thursday, 2 September 2010
I've taken my husband there, my children, my mother and most of my friends in Bury and friends who visit from further afield, not to mention an eco-friendly fireman and an incognito waste campaigner. So I thought it's about time I introduced you to my favourite café to hit Bury St Edmunds too, where I hope you will join me next week to help celebrate an exciting week that's about to hit the blogosphere.
Yes, Monday sees the start of National Zero Waste Week, an annual social media campaign that promotes ideas for waste reduction. Developed and managed by the grassroots website www.MyZeroWaste.com, it is now in its third year, and for the first time is sponsored by Tetra Pak.
This year’s theme, ‘Cooking for Victory’, is supported by celebrity chef Brian Turner CBE, who will share how he views food as an asset on the MyZeroWaste website and will demonstrate “a compost while you cook” approach during National Zero Waste Week. The topics are a response to research by WRAP that reveals households throw away 8.3 million tonnes of food and drink every year, costing the average family in Britain £50 per month.
Enthused by the celebrity chef’s commitment to the national awareness campaign, I asked Saints Café if they would also be prepared to help inspire people at a more local level, serving me a daily “pot luck lunch” to showcase how delicious meals can be made from even small amounts of usable healthy ingredients that busy households might otherwise throw away. Can you imagine my excitement when they said yes!
Saints Café owners, Engin Aga and Bernadette McAleer, said: "since launching earlier in the year, we have always placed a high emphasis on minimising food waste, sourcing seasonal and local produce where we can, cooking in small batches and fresh to order, along with running a careful stock control system to ensure that the ‘Zero Waste’ model is never far from being achieved.
“We are very excited about the project and are pleased to have the opportunity to demonstrate that efficient use of ingredients can reduce household food waste and save families hundreds of pounds a year too”.
Rachelle Strauss, aka Mrs Green, from MyZeroWaste adds "I'm thrilled that Karen has teamed up with Saints Café to promote National Zero Waste Week locally. It would be great if other eateries across Bury and Suffolk join in too, inspiring their own customers with ideas to try ‘pot luck recipes’ at home in a bid to reduce the nation’s waste.”
Despite having reduced my waste by 95% since I started The Rubbish Diet in 2008, I know I’ve got lax over the summer and so it will be great to pick up some new ideas and inspiration from one of my favourite cafés in Suffolk. There is a real buzz in the UK at the moment, where professionals are even being signed up by production companies to share their knowledge with prime-time audiences on national TV. It’s an exciting time for raising awareness locally.
Professional chefs are extremely talented in managing food as a resource and minimising waste and even Brian Turner believes there is a role for local chefs to promote their food efficiency skills amongst their own customer community in a way that is fun and accessible. He says “To all chefs - make the world a better place, buy well, waste 'nout and make a bit more profit at the same time, it'd be daft not to.”
So if you fancy joining me next week at Saints for a coffee or even some lunch yourself, do pop in. I'll be there enjoying good food and blogging from 1pm every day. If you do, and can share a top tip or two, I'll even feature you on the blog! But if you live too far away to come along, don't worry, I'll be sharing their top tips and recipes on the blog throughout National Zero Waste Week, before I pack up and attempt to use up everything from my fridge at home.
So how excited am I to have a legitimate excuse to be a lady who lunches! Well the answer is very, so do keep coming back for all the updates and if you've got a blog, why not blog about it too.
National Zero Waste Week takes place from 6th-12th September. Anyone can pledge to join in at www.myzerowaste.com, where there will be prizes for the most inspirational stories and opportunities to share news on Facebook and Twitter. For further information about Saints Café, check out their website at www.saintscafe.co.uk.