Ethical Eats publishes Better Breakfasts guide

01 October 2012 by
Ethical Eats publishes Better Breakfasts guide

Caterers, restaurants and hotels are being challenged to offer better breakfasts that are good for diners, farmers, livestock and the environment.

The idea was conceived by Ethical Eats, a network of 1,000 London caterers committed to improving the sustainability of their food.

It has published a Better Breakfasts guide for hospitality operators, featuring practical advice to help them improve the quality, ethics and sustainability of their breakfasts.

"The famous full English breakfast is a source of national identity and pride," said Emily Crawley of Ethical Eats. "But too often, the breakfasts we eat in London are anything but British and contain meat raised in conditions that would make an animal-loving Brit blush.

"When they shop in the supermarket, British consumers now buy more free-range eggs than eggs from caged hens, and most people say they really care about local food, sustainable fish and real bread.

"Yet when they eat breakfast in a restaurant or hotel, it's likely that the eggs are from caged hens, the fish from environmentally damaging production methods, and their watery tomatoes from overseas hothouses."

The Better Breakfasts guide recommends cheap and easy swaps, such as upgrading to Fairtrade tea and coffee, free-range eggs and real bread from local and artisan bakeries.

It also has suggestions of small-scale, local-to-London suppliers for caterers to try, from Sustain's Local Food Finder, an online database of food suppliers to help chefs find local, independent and ethical producers.

Ethical Eats said that pork and bacon were particular areas of concern, with much of London's bacon and sausages coming from pigs raised to low standards of animal welfare.

Tony Goodger of the pig industry body BPEX suggests switching to higher-welfare, British pork, and trying under-utilised streaky bacon in favour of traditional back bacon.

He said: "Much of the pork imported into the UK has been produced from pigs that have been farmed in a manner that would be illegal in the UK.

"The UK produces approximately nine million pigs per year. However, due to our love of bacon, we consume the loins from 26 million pigs per year and therefore either import large quantities of bacon or pork loins which are cured in this country and sold as bacon.

"One change that consumers may want to make is to replace back bacon with streaky British bacon that carries a recognised assurance standard."

By Janie Manzoori-Stamford

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