I recently took part in a Zero Waste Week challenge http://www.zerowasteweek.co.uk
The theme was reducing food waste. It made me think again about how I buy food, how I plan our meals and the things that we waste. I try my hardest to be an ethical shopper, but my good intentions do sometimes go to pot.
The village centre closest to where we live is great. It has a number of greengrocers, bakeries, a Waitrose and an Aldi. Also lots of charity shops and a library. So we are pretty well catered for across the board. We also have a health food shop and farm shop within a short drive and a farmers market once a month. However, when it is rainy, cold, the kids are moaning or I am in a hurry, it is all too easy to pop in the car to the huge supermarket and spend all our money there.
We grow a lot of fruit and veg in our garden and on the community allotment too. This is fab in the summer and autumn, but I have never really got the hang of growing throughout the whole year, so the garden tends to grind to a halt in late autumn leaving us without homegrown food for a good 4 or 5 months of the year. So, my challenges are……
1. Try to extend what I grow to eat throughout the late autumn-spring season.
2. Keep shopping locally and try to avoid the lure of the cosy supermarkets this winter
3. Keep an eye on what is in my fridge and try to minimise food waste.
I intend to do a Permaculture design for this area of my life.
I can’t really imagine anyone else would be the slightest bit interested in the contents of my fridge, so this is rather self-indulgent. However, It is a useful exercise for me, to remind me to be aware of what is lurking in my fridge before I plan meals and go out to buy yet more food. That fridge looks pretty good I recon, fresh eggs from our hens, green beans from the garden, homemade lasagna, humous, sprouted seeds and fresh tomatoes. How very middle-class of me. (I won’t mention the fruit-shoots and jammy-dodgers left over from my daughter’s party or the almost whole melon neglected at the back of the fridge that I need to throw away.)
One great tip that I got from the zero-waste challenge was to turn your fridge upside-down. Move the fruit and veg out of the boxes at the bottom of the fridge and put these into your eye-line. Jars, packets and bottles can go into the boxes where you can ignore them and they will be perfectly fine for ages. Since I have done this, we do waste a lot less fruit and veg – try it, it really does work.
I will finish with 3 lovely things I will be eating over the next few days; a Romanesco Cauliflower, Date and Walnut bread, fresh eggs from our hens. Yum