‘Regenerative restaurant’ focuses on well-managed grazed meats to reverse global warming

By Jenny Eagle

- Last updated on GMT

Gary and Catherine Solomon want to promote regenerative agriculture to save the planet. Photo: 28 Well Hung.
Gary and Catherine Solomon want to promote regenerative agriculture to save the planet. Photo: 28 Well Hung.

Related tags Global warming Sustainability Beef

‘Regenerative agriculture’ is at the heart of co-founders Gary and Catherine Solomon's restaurant concept, 28 Well Hung, in London.

The pair work in partnership with farmers and growers who manage grazing and growing in a way that supports and regenerates the soil, increases biodiversity and is kind to the planet.

Greenhouse gases

Gary Solomon

Grass-fed meat is allegedly more ethical, sustainable, and nutrient-dense than industrial meat. It has more antioxidants, omega-3s, trace minerals, and vitamins.

Studies have found​ well-managed grazing systems can manage soil carbon levels and reduce the production of greenhouse gasses like methane. 

Plus, you can graze cattle on land that is not well-suited for farming, which improves local land use. Sustainable grazing systems can also improve water filtration, which can improve soil carbon​. 

Motivated by a dream to build a regenerative restaurant brand, the Solomons' answer to climate change wasn’t to stop eating meat but to eat grass-fed beef, sourced as locally as possible, part of a global movement hoping to regenerate 1 billion hectares of grassland by 2025.

The co-founders also source vegetables from low-intervention growers and have partnered with the Carbon Trust Accredited Synergy Grill, based in Cambridge, UK, whose patented burner technology Synergy Grills use on average 59% less gas consumption and produce less CO2 residue compared to commercial gas grills of similar sizes.

At the very centre of 28 Well Hung is ‘regenerative agriculture’, helping to rebuild soil and restore degraded soil biodiversity which results in both carbon drawdown and improved water cycle​,” said Gary. 

In this way, regenerative agriculture is about actually reversing global warming, not slowing it down​.”

As early adopters of this global movement, the Solomons’ started their journey towards ethical excellence in 2011 with a London street food stall. Nearly 10 years later they have since expanded with a restaurant in Nunhead. 

At 28 Well Hung, we focus on providing customers with holistically sourced dishes which champion regenerative agriculture. From our pasturised, native breed meats right through to our heritage veggies and organic chips, each and every item found on our menu not only tastes the part, but has been sustainably sourced​,” added Gary.

Synergy Grill

Synergy Grill Technology ensures the highest sustainable standards from production and design, right through to the grilling process itself.

It atomises fat, eliminating the need for a fat tray, and having to dispose of fat waste.

For us, being able to grill a high volume of meat without having to dispose of environmentally damaging by-products such as fats and oils is essential to our environmental stance,​” said Gary.  

To be able to work with and support a British manufacturer that holds the same environmental values as us is tremendous​. 

Together, we hope to pave a pathway for other manufacturers and restaurants to realise the importance of using business as an opportunity to collectively take environmental responsibility by opting for regenerative produce and sustainable equipment such as the Synergy Grill​.”

According to Dave Asprey, founder and CEO, Bulletproof Coffee, the UN published a climate change report in October​ which in his opinion painted the environmental impact of meat in a poor light.

Environmentalists campaign against meat because we eat too much of it, which is bad for our health and the environment. However, these reports tend to focus on industrial meat, and they don’t account for the full carbon footprint of meat raised on responsibly managed land​,” he wrote on his blog​.

UN report

The UN report said livestock greenhouse gas emissions are the highest compared to all other food sources. These emissions are caused by feed production, animal waste and digestion, land-use change, and livestock transport and processing​.

The report called out cattle (beef and milk) in particular because of its high methane emissions from rumen fermentation, or the process through which livestock digest plant polymers in grass and hay. The waste products from this process? Cow burps, which consist of gases like carbon dioxide and methane​.”

He said according to the authors of the report, eating less meat could cut back on the efforts to keep global temperatures from rising 2°C above pre-industrial levels but this is a big deal because global consumption of beef and veal is set to rise in the next decade.

It’s a major public health problem if more people are eating higher quantities of industrial meat. Factory-farmed beef is loaded with mold toxins and pesticides from cheap grain feed, and it’s pumped up with antibiotics to prevent the animals from getting sick in cruel, cramped conditions​,” added Asprey.

When people eat more industrial meat, CAFO (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations) meat, its negative effects are compounded. CAFO cattle are clumped together in cramped feedlots. These feedlots use less land per animal to maximize farming efficiency, but instead of making things more efficient, the model makes things worse​.

Industrial agriculture contributes to soil erosion and water pollution, ruins soil biodiversity, consumes water at unsustainable rates, and uses tons of nonrenewable fossil fuels to keep operations running. Feedlots also contribute to antibiotic resistance and poor air quality​.

Conversely, grass-fed animals play a key role in sustainable agriculture that benefits the entire planet​.”

Related topics Business Meat

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