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Wednesday, 28 September 2016

A Food Philosophy

Yesterday I read this interesting article called 7 Small Ways to Begin Your Journey to Sustainable Eating posted by @ReFreshfood on Twitter.

As I read the article, I thought: "This is pretty much my own food philosophy".

1 Meatless Mondays
 We do like to have a roast dinner with all the family on a Sunday, so for us, Mondays often involve eating up the leftover meat from Sunday's joint.  But then on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday as long as I've used up all the meat I will then try to keep the meals meat free on at least two out of three days.

2. Buy food with less packaging
I always buy my meat from the butcher in my village.  I take my own containers so there's no plastic packaging.  I also know that my meat isn't going to leak juices all over my fridge so that's an added advantage.

I bulk buy food like flour, dried fruit and nuts, couscous and pasta, again taking my own containers.

I buy veg and fruit from a small greengrocer in a nearby town.  When you buy their produce, which is locally sourced, you will get all shapes and sizes, but it is loose, so you can pick out the shapes and sizes that you want.  If I know I'm going to chop up the fruit and veg, then I'll pick out anything that's a bit wonky, because I want to support them and support local farmers in cutting down waste.  Most of the time, I'll be chopping it and cooking it so I really don't often need it to look pristine.

3. Buy sustainable meat
As, I mentioned, the meat I buy is from a local business, and they source locally.  I make sure I use up every scrap of meat that I buy.  If I want some chicken, then usually I will buy a whole chicken rather than buying chicken breast.

4. Forgo Fish
I do eat fish and seafood, but I look for sustainably sourced and don't eat it often.  I do get my fix, though, if I am by the sea, picking local fish and only where I can sea that wherever is serving it they have a sustainable sourcing policy.

5. Eat seasonally
Absolutely!  As far as I'm concerned, you can forget strawberries most of the year.  Seasonal eating is what makes it special.  The one exception might be that I usually manage to freeze a few batches of blackberries from the abundant supply on my hedge at this time of year.

6. Eat locally
I think we've covered that one already!

7. Lose the bottled water
It is probably getting on for three years now since I bought water in a plastic bottle.  I have a couple of different water bottles and I always take one filled with good old Oxfordshire Tap every time I go out.

And then I thought about one more thing that has become really important to me. So here's my step number 8...

8. Forget the packaged snacks
Last year (2015) my family took on the challenge to go for a whole year without buying anything in single use plastic.  Although we didn't succeed 100%, we did pretty well.  One of the things that I had to do to succeed was to ditch the idea of ever buying packaged snacks out on the go.  This is a habit that we've developed over the last few decades, I'm sure.  I look around me and I see people eating snacks, everywhere, whatever time of day or night.

I'm sure I used to do the same too.  But not now.  I do buy nuts and dried fruit in bulk in my own containers and if I know I'll be out for a while and I'll be likely to get hungry then I will take a container with some fruit and nuts out with me.  But recently, I'm dong that less.  I just came to the realisation that if I'm eating properly, 3 meals a day, there's really no need for the snacks.

Snacks are often just empty calories, full of sugar and salt and SO OFTEN they are packed in non recyclable packaging - my pet hate! So I don't bother (unless I've taken my own.)

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