Twickenham Stadium has launched a new food waste strategy that includes an innovative internal ‘circular economic model’ that maximises every ingredient, reduces food miles and tracks the source, multiple use and outcome of every ingredient used on the menu.
The food waste strategy is part of an extension of the stadium’s existing sustainability initiatives and is being implemented to reduce the average ‘per person’ wastage at the stadium. “At the moment, the average amount of waste per person as the stadium is only small, but when that is multiplied by the amount of visitors we have to Twickenham, it becomes much larger,” comments Thomas Rhodes, Executive Head Chef at Twickenham Stadium, and one of the leaders on the venue’s sustainability initiatives.
The circular economic model is based around menu design, which encourages multiple uses of each ingredient, across the stadium’s operations and throughout the day. It also encourages the reusing of wastage items for stocks and sauces so maximum ‘value’ is taken from every ingredient, all of which are sourced locally.
“To get waste down now, we need to look beyond the per person waste, and look at the micro things we do which have macro effects,” continues Thomas. “This means we can track the life of an ingredient, use it for different things across the menu, from top to bottom. For instance, we can order whole locally sourced vegetables, use them in two or three dishes, and then use the excess for stocks and soups. It means one ingredient will be seen across two or three menus and multiple events.”
The food waste strategy also links with the stadium’s commitment to reducing food miles and its ability to demonstrate to guests where food has been sourced from. This added intelligence means the venue is able to offer menus that have been optimised at source and at disposal. The menu design is also helping support guest’s own green agendas.
“A good example of this is the use of our celeriac, which we peel, bake in salt and serve as a plant-first option. The peelings of the vegetable are ground down with the excess salt to create a veggie salt for other dishes; the offcuts are used for a jus on a different part of the menu; and anything else left over we reuse in stocks and soups. That means you could have four dishes using the same ingredient in four different ways. When we share this approach with delegates, they really buy into what we’re trying to do.”