Food wastage is a worldwide epidemic, with more than a 1/3rd of all food produced, globally wasted each year. As individuals, it’s up to each and every one of us to help to change this, to reduce the amount of perfectly good food ending up on landfill, lower carbon emissions and ensure we have sustainably grown food for future generations.
We’ve listed our top ten ways in which we work to reduce food wastage, to help guide and encourage you.
Frozen not fresh
We use nature’s best preservative, ice to blast freeze all of our meat at the very best moment, capturing all the minerals, nutrients and flavour to give you the very best eating experience. Getting to know your freezer is a fantastic way to help you to waste less. Organising each drawer helps you to see quickly what you have to hand, to avoid stocking up on things you don’t actually need and to help you to plan easily forthcoming meals.
We pack each portion individually, allowing you to only use what you need when you need it. With vac packed bags there is no unnecessary air compared to trays, freeing up space in your freezer. Because we have grown our meat so carefully you can defrost and freeze your meat too. There is a widespread faux pas that you can’t re-freeze meat once it has been defrosted. While we would not recommend you do not do this with supermarket meat, this is one of the benefits of shopping with Pipers Farm, our meat is completely safe to re-freeze. All of our plastic is completely recyclable.
No chemicals or preservatives
We never add any nasty preservatives or chemicals to our meat, we don't want to eat them so why should we make you? We don't 'gas flush' or do anything else nasty or unnatural to our food. To ensure our meat reaches you perfectly with plenty of time for you to enjoy it we believe freezing to be the purest and healthiest way to store our food.
Hung to remove excess water
We hang all of our carcasses including our properly free range chicken to remove up to 30% of water. By hanging each carcass it not only intensifies the flavour but means the texture of our meat is firm and dry.
Kept cool in wool pouches
When we pack your order, we ensure it is well insulated to keep it nice and cool on its way to you. We use wool pouches, which are not only great as they are a recycled product in themselves but because they are super efficient in keeping the meat icy cold. Remove the wool from its plastic wrap (put the wrap in the recycling) the wool can then be re-used or composted. We have heard about an array of ways you, our customers, like to reuse our wool. Here are our favourites:
- Protect plants in colder months
- Create pet bedding
- Insulating pipes
- Woolly sheep costume for a nativity
- Nesting material for birds
- A natural way of reducing slugs on your veg patch
Ice packs in boxes
Along with being snuggly tucked up inside a wool pouch, we also pop in an ice pack to help keep things cold. You can resuse these again and again, they're the perfect size to pop into a picnic basket to keep your lunch cool or to wrap in a towel to cool down with.
Nose to tail
We encourage all of customers to eat nose to tail, utilising the whole animal and the carcass. Offal has fallen out of fashion with younger generations but these often forgotten cuts are just as delicious as other cuts. Offal contains a vital source of nutrients and minerals that are wonderful for the body. They're a great source of protein and are also a cheaper cut. It really doesn't take guts to cook. Read more about it here.
Eat less meat
Sounds strange, doesn’t it, coming from farmers and butchers? However, we do believe we should all cut down on the amount of meat we eat, it is simply not sustainable. Meat has along the lines lost its value, with products like cheap chicken so readily available we have become so detached from the long process it takes to produce food.
We believe we should all eat much less meat, and when we do eat meat ensure it has been produced in a way that has respect for the animal, respect for the farmer and respect for the landscape.
Zero to landfill
At Pipers Farm we are a zero to landfill business. Food waste is actually a fabulous source of fuel. It creates energy as it rots to create power, and once the process is complete, compost to go back onto the land. Whilst we utilise the whole carcass there are some parts of our process like chicken heads, that not many of you are keen to eat and so do go into the bin.
Every week we separate our waste into items that can be recycled and items that are food waste that will head off to the biodigester to create power for the region.
We want to help you as much as we can in getting the most out of your meat. From super simple recipes, midweek meals and showstoppers we have a cut to suit all occasions. We are keen advocates of batch cooking and meal planning. Planning for leftovers are a great way to enable you to make your food go further. A roast chicken is a perfect example, feeding the family on a Sunday, the leftovers make great sandwich fillers for the week as well as in so many dishes for evening dinners. Once all the meat is gone there is still another use for the carcass. Creating your own bone broth is superb for the soul, it’s easy to create and is fantastic taken on its own or used as a base for a sauce, for a gravy or for a soup.
What we can't do just yet...
We need to ensure that our materials are 'food safe' this is a directive set out by the FSA who ensure all producers only use packaging materials that are perceived to be not harmful to our health. When it comes to packaging, there are very few options available on the market to package meat that are certified 'food safe', can cope with being transported, can cope with temperatures up to -18, and are practical for you to use at home. For the time being our individual portions will remain in their plastic sleeves, however, we are working on this and hope to share more news on this soon.
For any plastic we use we ensure that we use the lowest grade plastic possible in order to reduce our usage. All the plastic used can be recycled using your weekly curbside collection.
We will continue to strive to reduce and improve all areas of packaging and waste because just like you we believe in reducing our waste and our environmental impact, to ensure we create an incredible environment for future generations to enjoy.
In the coming months, you will see some changes made to our packaging with the aim of reducing our environmental impact.