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Shift your perspective with “SILO” - A food system for the future

Use "silos" to change your point of view-the future-oriented food system

Can you believe that about one-third of all food produced for human consumption in the world is lost or wasted, while more than 10% of the world's population is suffering from undernutrition? An average of 88 million tons of food is wasted each year, and European environmental policies need to address this important issue.

Food waste is caused not only by consumers, but also by shops, restaurants, and hotels, where food that is not consumed or sold—even if it is still edible—is thrown away. This may be one of the main reasons for creating Silos: A Blueprint for Zero Waste, which broadens the horizons of potential solutions. This is not a cookbook, it requires an open mind to read. It is full of inspiration and practical kitchen knowledge and concepts, while providing a holistic approach to the natural food system, thinking about resources, adapting to changes and accepting the diversity of nature. Silo has extracted the DNA of the waste problem in our society and encouraged us to adopt the most natural and effective cooking and eating methods to de-industrialize our food system, reduce waste and make full use of what nature has given us.

Who is #mcmasterchef?

Doug McMaster, the chef and founder of Silo, inspires us to look at the food system from another angle, which is closer to the natural cycle of food, without waste. From his personal success or failure process, he dares to be different, respect food of any shape and taste, and reduce waste in many ways.

After winning the "BBC Young Chef of the Year" contest at the beginning of his career, he continued his kitchen journey, working in dozens of best restaurants in Europe and Australia, while searching for his own goals. This allowed him to create a "silo".

What is special about Silo?

Silo is the UK's first zero-waste restaurant, which opened in Brighton* in 2014. Doug and his team only accept unpackaged whole food ingredients. They grind their own flour to make bread, brew their own wine, ferment food, turn milk into cheese and yogurt, and compost their own food waste. Their goal is to compromise in the right place and accept that nothing is perfect!

In the silo, food is seen as a masterpiece, a scientific project, not just something people put on the table, giving it real value! They consider the entire supply chain, from farm to table, to break the industrial logic of waste. However, the real magic happens in the kitchen, where the skin of every vegetable and animal part is used as the last meal of humans. Using Silo's formula and Silo's diet, nothing on the menu is the same and cannot be followed completely, because no one ingredient, shape and quantity are the same. In this way, Silo provides an alternative guide that can adapt to the organic curve of real food.

However, if Silo shows a good way to deal with food waste in the HoReCa sector, the problem needs the participation of every stakeholder up the food chain.

Then, Zero Waste Europe focuses on the same approach and provides the secrets of food waste prevention, which contains the key points to follow the food waste hierarchy:

1-Food waste prevention. Prevention is always the first step in improving food waste management. Policies aimed at preventing food waste and establishing binding targets for reducing food waste should be approved and implemented.

2-Food donation and redistribution. When food cannot be used for its main purpose, financial incentives and supporting funds should be used to make it easier for all stakeholders involved in the food system to donate food.

3-Handling of unsold and non-donated food. When food is not edible, it should be handled appropriately according to the level of waste. For example, using damaged fruit to make jam. In this way, food waste can be sold through other channels for reuse.

Therefore, reducing food waste and making it a priority means moving to better, fairer and more sustainable production and consumption methods. Silo employees chose to work in this way to prove that sustainable food businesses are financially and ethically viable, while also encouraging the development of other waste-free businesses.

Where does all the waste start?

"All waste is the failure of imagination..." Because imagination brings us here, but at the same time, creativity may also be the key to saving us from pollution, soil degradation, biodiversity reduction and fossil fuel exhaustion , These are just a few of the reasons for our excessive consumption and waste generation. Imagination creates industrial foods that make the planet sick. If you understand the complexity of recycling and eating dead food while you are alive, then industrial products may be considered absurd.

In order to effectively solve food waste, it is necessary to consider the entire food system, because losses begin in the earliest stages of production.

From small actions to broader actions, we should all promote at the EU institutional level. The need to translate new food waste targets into concrete and ambitious measures takes into account two key points:

– Food waste is not only a consumer's problem, it needs to be solved in the entire food chain, following a specific hierarchical structure, because food waste requires specific measures and cannot be solved only through the general waste hierarchy.

– Combating food waste cannot be an isolated policy. It needs to be part of the EU’s comprehensive food policy, including various policy areas that affect the food system, focusing not only on consumption but also on production, processing and retail (see also our open letter appeal The next President of the European Commission formulates the EU food policy).

The future-can you imagine it is not wasted?Overall, this book provides a much-needed roadmap for a future with limited resources and growing demand, which is why zero waste is the future of food. Considering the need to adopt a new approach to the food system, "Zero Waste Europe" introduced specific guidelines and recommendations designed to help policy makers solve the problem of food waste.

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