Friday, 6 November 2015

Waste Not

It's rare that I'll write something resembling a rant on this blog but it was with real outrage, sorrow and frustration that I watched Hugh's War On Waste on the BBC iPlayer during a bout of insomnia recently. I have been so moved by this program that I feel compelled to write about it.
I sometimes refer to myself as a passionate foodie. I mean this in as much as I ADORE food. You won't find me in michelin star restaurants, creating "foam" to garnish my dishes or waxing lyrical about the latest superfood. Even whipping up any meals requiring more than two pans is usually a step too far, but I believe in eating good food, real food, knowing where it comes from and avoiding waste wherever possible.
Credit: Hugh's War On Waste
What has this got to do with health and fitness? We need to eat well to be healthy, for a start, and given that around a quarter of all fruit and 45% of all salad is binned, that surely must be having an impact on how often we reach our 5-a-day. We import a huge amount of fruit and veg from abroad, simply because our own supermarkets deem the home-grown produce too ugly for sale. Just last week a friend of mine commented on how his online grocery shop had included carrots from South Africa! In October! I've got more carrots than I can eat in a large pot outside my front door and we're shipping them in from South Africa? The more fresh produce is handled, the longer it takes to get from field to shelf to plate, the fewer nutrients it contains. It just seems mad.

So over the next few weeks I intend to look very closely at my food habits. How much do I really waste? Can I get even better at reducing my food waste, either by buying less in the first place, or by being more creative with what I have. I intend to share the state of my fridge, cupboards and freezer, my existing meal planning routine and some of the meals I come up with to help reduce waste.
Green tomatoes destined to become salsa, chutney or cake.
Of course wastage comes from the supermarkets directly as well, not to mention restaurants and fast food outlets, and that's difficult to impact as one person. But. If we all do something (pledging your support on the WasteNot website is a start) then perhaps we can make a difference.

To get you started in a new way of thinking, the WasteNot website has an abundance of useful tips and links to websites such as The Rubbish Diet, Love Food Hate Waste and Too Good To Waste.
It covers a lot more than just food. I remember collecting bottle tops at school to be sent to charities but these days they usually get binned, as I've lacked the impetus to collect them when I've not known what to do with them. However, I've discovered that you can take them to LUSH to be recycled into their cosmetic pots. As I buy LUSH products occasionally it's a great tie in for me.

So please, pledge your support to the WasteNot campaign and have a look at your food waste habits. Try to change just one thing. Then another, and another. Thank you.

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