Weekend on a Plate

The weekend digested: palm oil problems and Deliveroo's new scheme

All the news, reviews and trends from November 9-10, including zero-waste cooking and 3D-printed plant-based steak.

11 November 2019
chainsdeliveryfood wastehealthrestaurant openingrestaurantssupermarkets

Food news

German discounters muscle in on more territory

Lidl has announced its ambitions to open 230 new stores by 2023, bringing its total to 1,000. Fellow German discounter Aldi has previously said it wants to open 50 shops a year over the next two years.

 

How sustainable is sustainable palm oil?

Greenpeace has accused the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) of misleading consumers, releasing a report that alleges that its membership (which include food giants like Unilever, Mondelez and Nestlé) can be linked to deforestation via forest fires. The RSPO has disputed the accuracy of Greenpeace’s methodology, adding: “Our members who were investigated [for fires] provided documentation such as police reports to explain the hotspots and occurrence of fire. Certifications bodies will also be conducting additional independent on-ground investigations.”

 

Greggs makes tentative moves towards healthier foods

Greggs has announced plans to encourage its customers to buy ring doughnuts instead of jam doughnuts, as part of its efforts to encourage healthier eating. The ring doughnuts contain less calories and fat, though slightly more sugar. A Greggs spokesperson noted that the chain has reduced sugar by 20% across its sweet range.

image credit: Greggs

Deliveroo trials Pickup

Deliveroo has introduced a new service that doesn't involve, er, delivery. Instead, customers will now be able to order food from some restaurants through the platform and pick up the food themselves, saving money on delivery fees. The initiative aims to encourage food businesses to sign up to Deliveroo via the new Pickup option as a kind of test of the service, before deciding whether to join the delivery programme as well. Deliveroo aims to have 10,000 restaurants offering Pickup within a year.

 

Could Asda contract row hit sales?

Most of Asda’s employees who are paid by the hour have now signed new contracts, which increase basic pay but removes other perks like paid holiday. However, some observers have suggested the row over the new terms may affect the supermarket’s bottom line over the Christmas period – a Survation poll carried out by GMB found that 37% of the 1,000 people surveyed said they would be less likely to shop at Asda after hearing the terms of the new contract.

 

Food trends

3D printing plant-based steak

The Guardian takes a look at several companies that are using 3D printers with Nespresso-style cartridges to deliver plant-based steaks and chicken fillets – and the technology might not be that far away from arriving on plates. Israeli business Redefine Meat hopes to begin piloting its solution in European restaurants early next year, while Spanish Novameat aims to have its version in Spanish and Italian eateries by the end of next year.

image credit: Redefine Meat

Zeroing in on zero-waste cooking

Coinciding with the opening of zero-waste pioneer Douglas McMaster’s Silo restaurant in London, The Telegraph looks at other establishments that are exploring the trend, from Native with its set menus of venison neck, pigeon hearts and fish offcuts, to Kiln, which has hired an in-house butcher to make sure no meat is wasted.

 

Food reviews

Norma, London W1T 2LS

Speaking of reducing food waste, one of the first dish’s Jay Rayner tucks into at this restaurant from chef Ben Tish is the Parmesan-topped spaghettini fritters, made from leftover pasta that has been “formed into such blissful discs and fried until crisp and golden.” The menu also includes rose veal, served with lemon, anchovy, black cabbage and masala sauce, as well as violet artichokes (“trimmed back to the important bits and seared until their edges are caramelised, with a walnut whip-shaped dollop of a pine nut purée”) and sea bream (“dressed with peppery olive oil and both pomegranate seeds and the salty orange promise of bottarga”).

image credit: Norma

Heritage, West Sussex RH17 6AQ

“Even things I read as being potential misfires… are harmonious and perfectly judged,” writes Marina O’Loughlin of this restaurant, which serves dishes like coriander ice cream with marinated raw scallops (“the shouty herb muted by its freezing, toasted pumpkin seeds and mandolined salsify adding crunch”), a pork-skin-wrapped mushroom farce with bacon jam and roasted plum (“treated so it almost feels like suet pudding pastry, teeth sinking into its sticky depths”) and monkfish with white cabbage and kohlrabi in Chinese-style XO sauce.

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