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Friday, 26 January 2018

Book Review

101 Ways to Live Cleaner and Greener for Free  December 2016
Author Anna Pitt,
Illustrated by Toni Lebusque
Publisher: Green Lanes Publishing 2012
172 pages ISBN  978-09574637-0-7

The author aims to make us more aware of environmental actions in our homes that we could do something about. It also gives, as the title promises, 101 tips on small, free and often very simple things we could do to reduce our environmental impact. The author explains her definitions of ‘clean and green’ as avoiding pollution and waste and caring for the planet.
Sections in this book look at reducing food waste; saving water, energy and fuel; recycling; reusing. All sections have science facts, maths number-crunching and tips; the latter presented using cartoon illustrations and humour.

We learn about gases and toxic leachate liquid produced at landfill sites and about food waste processing sites. The maths includes how much CO2 emissions are reduced when food waste is diverted from landfill and the financial savings to families.

Alongside ‘carbon footprint’ which people are generally familiar with, we learn about the ‘water footprint of avoidable food waste’.  ‘Embedded water footprint’ is the amount of water needed to produce 1 lb of food - beef tops the lot with 6810 litres per lb, goat with 480 litres and potatoes 450 litres.
Fossil fuels, biodiesel from crops and our increasing carbon footprint are clearly explained.
Saving energy, we learn, can be as simple as not leaving phone chargers plugged in all night and it ‘is estimated that up to 40% of the energy we consume is actually wasted’ (p.53).

My favourite everyday kitchen tip was number 27 - use a measuring jug when adding water to the kettle so you only heat the water you need.

The chatty style of this book will appeal to older teens and young adults. It can help families starting their journey to reduce their environmental impact. It is practical, easy to read book with handy tips.

Alona Sheridan

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

No Waste Within

A new campaign is being launched by Zoe Morrison of Ecothrifty Living blog and Emma Dawson of The Food Brood to highlight the issue of food that gets wasted during food photography sessions and to champion a movement of food bloggers, food stylists and photographers who refuse to waste food.

I first read about the waste that goes on within the food writing industry in Shane Jordan's book, Food Waste Philosophy. When I was writing my own book, Leftover Pie, there was no way I was going to allow that to happen. Before my first photo shoot session I said to the food stylist that all of the food was going to be eaten. I am very glad that I found people to work with who care as much as I do about food. Part of the planning that day involved planning what we could eat when, everything was cooked according to the recipes as they are in the book and the tweaking and rearranging that did get done was with strict instructions that the food would still be edible and yummy! and Oh   ...boy! There was a lot of tweaking and rearranging.  I had no idea how long it would take to get the perfect amount of pickle to run down the side of the jar!
Most of the photos on my blogs, both here and on are photos I snap while cooking everyday food that my family are about to eat.  But stories I was told as we were getting the perfect picture of my scones were horrifying. Leonie's fridge and freezer were packed full of f ood she had rescued from photo shoots.  I even took some kale  home with me. She said it would take her weeks to get through all the kale she had rescued so I felt obliged to help out.

I  know this is a much needed campaign and it is great to see it being well supported by food bloggers across the UK. Please do share it widely.  And join in with the hashtag #nowastewithin.

I am always surprised when people ask me if we ate the 'Leftover Pie.' Of course we ate it!

Here is my pledge...

“I promise that no food waste was created by the development, cooking, styling and photographing of this recipe and that, where it wasn’t possible for me to enjoy it myself, I have redistributed, repurposed, retained or recycled the food.”