Many things have claimed to be the best thing since sliced bread but Toast Ale, might just have the best shout of all. A whopping 44% of bread is wasted but Toast Ale is making a dent in that by working with bakeries and sandwich makers to brew delicious fresh beer out of surplus bread. The only other ingredients are hops, yeast and water. They also send the spent grain from the brewing process to a local farm to be used as animal feed which creates a nice closed loop, and also use recycled bottles. Oh and if tackling food waste wasn’t enough, Toast Ale is entirely not-for-profit, donating all proceeds to Feedback, an environmental charity campaigning to end food waste. Cheers!
Founded by Randy Rampersand The Green Vic is the world’s ‘most ethical pub’ and is designed to be socially responsible across the board, from using ethical suppliers for beer, food and cleaning materials to employing people from disadvantaged backgrounds. The bar stocks drinks like Brewgooder (a brand that donates all its money to clean water projects in Africa) and Ginerosity (a social enterprise that uses profits to fund projects that help train and mentor the homeless), with vegan traders The Green Grill overseeing the food. The Green Vic has also partnered with Unity Kitchen (who train people with disabilities so they can start a career in F&B) and Change Please (who train the homeless to become baristas) to enable the pub to make sure that 1 in 4 of the staff are from disadvantaged backgrounds. Doing good deeds just by going to the pub is something we can definitely get on board with! Could this be the pub of the future?
Richard Murray is the man behind FoodChain, a simple idea that’s helping to connect chefs directly with producers. By bringing several farmers and producers together in one online based ordering system chefs are able to both streamline their ordering as well as see what the best produce available is from each seller. If at a particular time a farmer has an excess of rhubarb, for example, they can get this message out directly to chefs, helping them sell the product, reduce food waste, and giving chefs a good price in turn. For consumers, this is a win as the chefs in your favourite restaurants have easier and cheaper access to the best produce in the UK which trickles down to us as diners. What’s even more exciting is FoodChain’s plans to bring this ordering system direct to consumers as well as chefs so we’ll all be able to buy directly from farmers direct from our phones. Sounds like the future to us.
We love what Steven and Richard have created down in Clapham – the UK’s first underground farm. Here they sustainably grow fresh micro greens and salad leaves 33 metres below the streets in disused WW2 tunnels. Using the latest hydroponic systems and LED technology, the crops are grown year-round in a perfect, pesticide-free environment and use 70% less water than traditional farming. Thanks to a controlled environment, each tiny leaf has a consistent flavour and are unaffected by the weather and seasonal changes. Thanks to the prime location, they also reduce the need to import crops and drastically reduce the food miles for retailers and consumers. Since launching in 2014, they now supply loads of top restaurants as well as M&S, Whole Foods, and Waitrose among others – smashed it guys!