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Last night was week five of our Small Steps Eco Club and this time around our focus was on food.

We had a big surprise in store as our fabulous catering team had agreed to host us in the kitchen and Head Chef, Alistair MacDonald, was our mentor. We had some very important topics to cover, including sustainability, seasonality, waste and the relationship between agriculture, biodiversity and climate change.

We kicked off the session with Alistair telling us about our local suppliers and showing us a table of fruit and vegetables. Could we identify which ones were produced locally and which were in season? This wasn’t as easy as it looked, partly because so many fruit and vegetables are available all year round, although we knew pineapples definitely did not come from Scotland!

Our sustainability discussion centred around fish and Alistair showed us a chart detailing which fish are currently on the sustainable list, which means we are able to eat them.

We talked about waste and the importance of taking just what we need and no more. We also discovered that the average household wastes 30% of the food they buy, so this is something we can all look to reduce.

Lastly, we focussed on palm oil, which finds its way into so many products and causes deforestation and habitat loss. We took biscuits as an example and asked ourselves- why do we buy biscuits that contain palm oil and a variety of strange sounding ingredients when we can make them with just flour, butter and sugar? With Alistair’s help we made some delicious shortbread that tasted absolutely wonderful and we’ll pass the word on by sharing this recipe with our family and friends!