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SRA launches One Planet Plate campaign
Hundreds of restaurants are already backing the One Planet Plate campaign that has been launched to satisfy diner demand for sustainable food.
This weekend (24 and 25 March), hundreds of restaurants will serve dishes that highlight how establishments are addressing the problems in the food system as the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) launches a global campaign to help diners use the power of their appetites wisely.
Chefs including Raymond Blanc, Skye Gyngell and Chantelle Nicholson, as well as high street restaurants such as Jamie’s Italian, Carluccio’s, Zizzi and Wahaca are participating in One Planet Plate, launching on Saturday 24 March.
Two surveys conducted on behalf of the SRA, one by restaurant guide Harden’s, the other by National Union of Students, reveal very low levels of satisfaction with the social and environmental impact of the food on offer in UK restaurants.
Just 20% of those asked by Harden’s said they were satisfied with how ethical the food is on the menus of places where they have eaten recently; only 17% are satisfied with the food’s impact on the environment. The picture is similar among the students surveyed. Fewer than a quarter (24.8%) of students are satisfied with the environmental impact of the food on offer when they eat out, while fewer than one in three (30.4%) believe it is meeting sufficient ethical standards.
Almost nine out of ten of those questioned by Harden’s (86%) said they thought restaurants should focus on creating a menu that helps them make sustainable choices.
Raymond Blanc OBE, President of the SRA, said: "At Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons we’ve been serving dishes made with vegetables grown in our very own kitchen garden, alongside free-range meat from the same fantastic British suppliers for more than 30 years. It’s so important to help people understand what sustainable food looks, smells and tastes like. By highlighting dishes that capture this ethos, One Planet Plate will enhance diners’ experience and help them put their passion for good food into action."
One Planet Plate is a restaurant campaign to put sustainability on the menu – a chance for chefs worldwide to demonstrate to diners in food form how they are contributing to a better food future. As the consumer survey results demonstrate, faced with a full menu of dishes to choose from, it can be hard for even the most conscious diners to feel confident they are making the right choice, even in the most ethical restaurant. A One Planet Plate is effectively the chef’s sustainable special – his or her recommendation.
To give the campaign a kickstart, the SRA is launching it to coincide with WWF’s Earth Hour on 24 March – the largest environmental event in the calendar and a perfect moment to grab diners’ attention. This is the fourth year that the SRA has partnered with WWF on Earth Hour and this year more restaurants are participating than ever and giving customers the chance to make positive food choices. Diners can find restaurants serving a One Planet Plate on a dynamic map at www.oneplanetplate.org. The site also serves as a treasure trove of dozens of recipes for the dishes created and contributed by chefs from high end to high street.
Among the dozens of recipes shared by chefs are a number that are designed to eliminate waste, including prawn head crispies (Moshi Moshi, London), sautéed oyster mushrooms (Harissa, Newcastle, made with mushrooms grown on coffee grounds) and bread soup with vegetable trimmings (Spring, London using up stale bread). There are a number made with local ingredients including Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons’ home-grown beetroot terrine and horseradish sorbet.
It’s not too late to join the campaign. While Earth Hour is the launch, the SRA is urging restaurants to feature their One Planet Plate dishes on the menu for the long term.
The Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) is a not for profit membership organisation helping restaurants become more sustainable and diners make more sustainable choices when dining out. www.thesra.org
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