Last year, I read about a restaurant in Chicago that generated one bag of trash in a whole year. I found that so impressive. Upon looking into it, I found it was a small sandwich shop. However, I decided to go for that goal for my own, 153 seat restaurant here Metro-West of Boston.
First and foremost, this zero waste policy applies to my animals. We are raising our own cattle, heritage breed pigs, and chickens up at our farm, The Farm at Woods Hill, in Bath, New Hampshire. My number one goal is that our customers give a lot of thought to how hard our farmers worked raising our food. They move the animals to fresh pasture very often in order to keep the animals healthy, to provide them their needed nutrients in their natural environments. The animals that need grain are fed certified organic feed. My farmers built automatic waterers, movable, electric and permanent fencing, mobil chicken houses and a mobile egg house, found a source of unsprayed hay, and care for the animals when needed at all hours of the day and night and no matter what the weather conditions are.
We are bringing the animals from the slaughterhouse to the restaurant, and then my chefs spend the entire day in the refrigerated butcher room on site to get ready for that evening or the next day’s dinner service. We do not want any of the animal to go to waste. It is imperative that we use the entire animal before moving on to the next one. This means that we WILL run out of certain cuts and we will move on to the next cut. That is why our menu has the WHT Cut of Beef of the Day. Sometimes we run out mid service, as we did last night with our steak and our beef. It is amazingly fresh and tasty, and we sell a lot of it and it is impossible to predict how many people will order beef, how many will order pork, chicken or fish, but with our zero waste policy we have to do our best to estimate, but we nonetheless will run out rather than let any go to waste.
We have been told our portion sizes are good and we would like our customers to take home what they can’t finish in our compostable containers and have another meal at home. We hope that everyone will embrace this concept. We know we have a great burger and great steak, but we are not a steak house. Come early. If you can’t come early on a night when beef seems to be taking a big run, I am sure we can help you find something else to eat that is just as fresh and tasty.
We also have this zero waste policy when it comes to our garbage.
My staff has totally taken it to heart and I am so amazed at their dedication and enthusiasm for this project. We compost all of our food and paper. We were told by our composting company that we can compost anything that was once alive. Check out our composting company’s website, Black Earth Compost to see the exciting things they are doing to take our food waste and use it to replenish the earth. (www.blackearthcompost.com)
We are also doing our best to make sure that everything that comes into the restaurant is compostable or recyclable. We are new and we had a lot of shipping to deal with when first opening, so a lot plastic and styrofoam did come into the restaurant. Going forward, we are working with all of our companies to deliver in recyclable or compostable materials.
We look forward to serving you at Woods Hill Table and hope you can embrace our zero waste mission.