As I sit in my garden writing this blog I wanted to share my “waste” journey of my own life and that of over 15 years of being part of the bm family. Firstly I hate waste of any kind-heat, light and especially food. As a child my mother said we couldn’t leave the table until we cleared our plates, we never questioned this, we duly obliged and I am grateful she was a great cook! I guess it stuck with me, only take what you need and no more and do not waste! My mother was an avid menu planner to the last detail alongside my father who meticulously grew vegetables. We were lucky to have lots of land, so had fruit orchards and several large veg plots.  We also reared chickens, ducks and geese for food which roamed freely through the orchard. Imagine the scene from the “Darling Buds of May” that was us! So naturally I always plan my meals before grocery trips, grow a huge variety of fruit and veg (this year blueberries are my new addition) I truly relish the seasons. Childhood memories stick and I am ever grateful!

Being part of the bm “green” team I recognise the same approach, prepare your menu, work out how much to buy, use it and be inventive! Any extra can usually be pickled. Pete, our Chef Director, makes a mean tomato chutney and showed us all through our “WASTED” training programme how to make the most fabulous lemon chutney from the rind. Any kitchen prep that can’t be used like egg shell and chicken bones are weighed and recorded onto our electronic reporting platform.

Chefs log which waste stream it’s going to, so not just landfill but also anaerobic digestion, sewer and composting! They get competitive on reducing waste and celebrate new additions to their arsenal of recipes as a result of thinking outside the menu box! I get to review our reported food waste and monitor and measure! I know which months we are particularly creative and less wasteful too! How cool is that!

What I do know is fresh is best, local if possible and seasonal cannot be beaten. It’s tastier, juicier and reminds me especially (maybe through slightly rose tinted glasses) that my childhood was one of great food that was never wasted and always lovingly prepared. Cheers mum and dad!

Sally Grimes

Quality Standards Auditor, bartlett mitchell 

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