Tuesday, 3 March 2009

LFHW day 2

Today's LFHW launch went really well - some supportive launching-type words from Galton Blackiston and people from the council and WRAP, and lots of mingling. I had extremely interesting chats about the Broadland food waste collection trial, ways to improve my compost (air and cardboard is what I need), favourite leftovers recipes, and how this scheme is going to work. I also managed to ask Galton Blackiston about the professional kitchen and food waste, specifically the issue of binning "imperfect" food I blogged before. He was pretty much convinced that the Masterchef example I gave was dramatised to make good TV, and that professional chefs in a real kitchen would not waste food in such a sweeping way. Reassuring to hear! He seems very committed to top quality food from local sources and with a minimum of environmental impact, and having been lucky enough to eat at Morston Hall, I can report that the food quality is not in the least impaired by paying attention to these things!

I also appreciatively collected a cotton shopper bag (yes, another one!) containing goodies such as a fridge thermometer, pasta portion sizer, recipe book and cards, and best of all two Freshpods. These are now lurking in my fruit bowl and salad drawer, guarding against the deterioration of my fruit and veg. The lunch provided was rather tasty, and I just hope that any leftovers were offered around to the event's public visitors! By the time I left, the stalls seemed to be drawing in all sorts of people who were passing through the Forum, for composting advice, food waste freebies, and of course loads of advice, which is excellent.

One of the most interesting discussions I had was actually with another invitee, about how to engage people and what sort of people we reach with these events. He put forward the point that the vast majority of people at the Forum today were middle class, intelligent, and almost certainly already engaged with recycling. Are these the people who are wasting a third of the food they buy? How can we best get through to a wider selection of people - particularly in some of the more deprived areas? We agreed that the best way is to take the information to the people, rather than expecting them to come to you and ask for it, but my personal view is that there is also no harm in starting with an "easy win". That is, talking to the people who are ready to engage and just need information as opposed to persuasion. I always reckon that starting with a bit of success boosts morale and fires you up to go and tackle something a bit more challenging.

All that said, this was just the launch event, and most of the people there, at least initially, were people who had been invited due to the job that they do or the organisation they are with - so that is one reason for it not being an especially varied audience. I am sure there are plans to further develop the LFHW campaign here in Norfolk, and I look forward to seeing what they are! Kudos to the Norfolk Waste Partnership team and WRAP/LFHW guys for a great launch.

How has our food waste day been?

Breakfast: same as yesterday, porridge/cereal and tea.
Food-related waste: a teabag.

Lunch: a couple of sandwiches at the event, with the rest of it later in the afternoon at my desk, consisting of rice cakes, peanut butter, a pepper, a tomato, and an orange.
Food-related waste: pepper stem and seeds, orange peel.
Packaging waste: rice cakes wrapper, paper salt sachet found in my desk drawer.

Snacks: an apple and a banana, some almonds, and a creme egg.
Food-related waste: banana peel, apple core, foil.

Dinner: Chicken stir fry with cabbage, carrot, onion and pepper, sauce and rice.
Food-related waste: cabbage stalk, onion and carrot peel, pepper seeds and stem.
Packaging waste: thin plastic bag from the chicken, empty sauce sachet.

Compostable food waste: 290g
No food waste to go in the bin!
Recyclable packaging: 5g paper and foil
Non-recyclable packaging: 35g plastic


  1. I can tell you that all the food got eaten today! The leftovers from the buffet were snapped up. Thanks for coming!

    There are loads of things going to happen over the next 12 months, that will take the message to the people at the places they shop and in their work places too. That said, we also welcome all new ideas. So keep em coming!

  2. Brill - I knew you guys would have things up your sleeve. Just let the blogosphere know so we can spread the word!

  3. This sounds like a very positive and inspiring launch event. The goody bags were full of useful things too! I'm glad it was all well received and you got to meet some interesting people. I agree that we need to reach those from more deprived areas and backgrounds, but it is difficult to reach many of them. Do you have plans for this? I would love to hear more about it.