We earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article.

7 expert tips for reducing food waste at home

Chef Douglas McMaster of zero waste restaurant Silo on how to cut down food waste and be more sustainable in the kitchen

chef douglas mcmaster on how to reduce food waste
Victor Frankowski

It’s been over a year since Silo catapulted the concept of zero-waste cuisine into the mainstream and now the Hackney restaurant is hoping to spread its sustainable message further, with the launch of The White Building Market, a produce and retail market in collaboration with neighbour Crate Brewery.

Showcasing the producers and pioneers that supply the two businesses, expect everything from natural wines and smoked rapeseed oil to ceramics and kit used by diners and chefs. Chef Douglas McMaster shares his tips on how to reduce waste at home:

Reducing waste is about making the most of the food we cook. Weigh out ingredients beforehand according to the number of people the meal is for – think around 800g-1kg per person.

Really think about what you’re buying – make lists to avoid impulse buys that won’t get used up.

A perfect way to use leftovers is making vegetable soup from Sunday roast veggies. I’d store them in the fridge overnight and blend them all with lots of seasoning for a delicious vegetable soup, which will last for days. Another option is a stir-fry – it’s so easy to throw the veggies, leftover meats, oil and seasoning into a wok, adding your choice of sauce and frying it all off.

Try not to cook too many food items that can’t be reused. I would always try and create ‘table abundance’ by cooking foods that can be easily reused, so keep away from things like dressed salads and stick to cooking root vegetables, easily turned into a soup or broth the next day.

A good stock is essential for transforming leftovers. Vegetable stock can be made from peelings and offcuts – keep in the fridge to elevate soups, casseroles and pasta dishes.

If possible, look for refillable household goods. There can be huge waste in terms of cleaning products, especially if there’s a lot of washing-up going on. The White Building Market sells some from Fill Refill.

Don’t look at reducing waste as a chore, but as a challenge to see what you can do with any leftovers you have. It gives you a chance to be creative. It’s important we all work together and be conscious of food waste. silolondon.com; cratebrewery.com

This article first appeared in ELLE Decoration January 2020

Like this article? Sign up to our newsletter to get more articles like this delivered straight to your inbox.


Keep your spirits up and subscribe to ELLE Decoration here, so our magazine is delivered direct to your door.

This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
More From Sustainable Design