Friday, 10 March 2017

Lent: Buy no food for home: Progress Report 1: and seven reflections

I waste food.
I succumb "Sell by date food" offers.
I have jars of three year old chutney in the house.

Lent 2017 offers me the chance to "Resolve to buy not food for the house
- - at least not until I have eaten everything."

1. To clear out new, and ancient food in my house. And prehistoric.
2. To remove the temptation of buying more food than I need, or indeed, can eat. The superb bargains from the Coop and Booths have thwarted my attempts at Slimming World since January.
3. To see what I learn.

Initial stocks:

My initial stocks of food were "average" - I had had a "No new buy" attempt at the beginning of January that lasted about two weeks (with lapses) - which cleared most of my Christmas stock of extra cheese and mince pies.

Two weeks ago I bought in an extra 1.5 kilo  lentils, 1 kilo porridge and 2.5 kilo potatoes to demonstrate what is needed for a five day "£1-00 a day diet" to friends.

So ten days in, how are the results?

After 6 days I posted the adjacent meal in the Slimming World Facebook page. I still had a variety of food, including the week-old lettuce in the fridge.
(The quinoa meal shown is the remaining quarter of what I had already eaten)

After ten days I am still going strong. Today I have a cold so tried to eat healthily: I ate up the very sad celery and very sad green pepper from the fridge, that were" beyond sell by" two weeks ago.  And ate quinoa and lentils. And my last tin of curried mackeral; Oats, and my penultimate egg, then a tin of forest fruit with raw oats. So today I manged my five a day veg/fruit...

But stocks are getting low.. Tomorrow I will eat the bag of sprouting potatoes (having eaten all the nice newer non sprouted ones)

Seven things I have noticed:

1. I am producing far less waste for my waste bin - both less packaging and less old food waste.

2. It has encouraged me to appreciate much more the snacks I do eat when I am out:
I enjoyed healthy snack meal at Settle Hub on Tuesday. J.D. noted the way I pounced on the 1/3 hot-cross bun laden with butter at the Churches Together Lent Meeting on Wednesday,

3. Maybe I go out slightly more often. (The time I have saved by not going to the Coop Garage may end up being spent in extra coffee mornings..).

4. I am getting a bit hungry because I am not having big helpings of main course.. and then maybe "snacking" too much. . E.g. at the above mentioned Church Lent meeting on Wed I had three pieces of buttered hot cross bun and a chocolate biscuit...!!

5. My "five a day" veg/fruit - are getting rather tenuous.
Wednesdays's five a day were:
2 helpings cranberry sauce left from Christmas
1 1/2. helping Lentils from the tin of lentil curry
1/2  . chopped ginger (rather tiny)
1 helping extremely sad lettuce, from the lettuce Jo gave me after our "Blogging in the Hub" yesterday.
 1 helping  potatoes (do potatoes count?)

6. Yesterday I attended a meeting at Langcliffe, the local church where there was to be a talk on Refugees.
Maggie Bruno of Bentham told us of efforts  in Bentham to help refugees
She also goes to Bradford one day a week to help support refugees who are waiting to have their cases heard.
And says what awful stress they live under whilst waiting.
She says they are given £36.95 a week for everything.
(Cooking facilities and electricity is provided) But that £36.95 has to cover food, mobile phone top-ups, clothes.
People who did not want to become refugees.. but  had to travel illegally - to apply to be a refugee you have to be in the country, and usually there is no legal way to enter. Real catch 22

As my stocks get lower I begin to imagine what I will get when I do go to the shops again.
£36.95 won't go far.
But think of people stuck in a poky room/flat with £36.95 to spend on everything.

7.  I read that 1/3 of the food harvested in the world goes to waste and that
If it were a country, food waste would be the world’s third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases. (from A Tesco post)

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