Monday, 2 March 2009

My perfect waste campaign... LFHW day 1

Well, it's true. I love food, and I hate waste!

As tomorrow sees the launch of the LFHW campaign in Norfolk, and I have been lucky enough to bagsy an invitation, I will have loads of information on reducing food waste coming up on tomorrow's blog.

I have also decided that this will be my own LFHW week, and I'll tally the waste we create with particular attention to food. First it's worth saying a bit about the start of the week, which in food terms is the weekend as that's when we shop.

On Saturday morning I sat and planned the food for the week - a mix of old favourites (stir fry, tomato and bacon pasta) and new recipes to try (white fish with spicy beans and chorizo, sausage and butter bean casserole), plus any baking I want to do. This gets translated into a list and we go out shopping - to the greengrocer, fishmonger, baker (all the same shop!), butcher, and then to the supermarket for tinned and dry goods and non-food. Using the list, we should find that we don't overbuy - buying things loose from independent shops also helps with this. Over the weekend I baked banana flapjacks with some almost-past-it nanas, and made a big pan of vegetable and pasta soup to do for lunch both days.

On to today, the start of my LFHW focus, and it went something like this:

Breakfast: porridge with fruit, nuts and honey, and a fruit tea. For hubby it's weetabix.
Food-related waste: a teabag.

Lunch: I have a big salad with spinach, cucumber, celery, pepper, carrot, cherry tomatoes, tuna, and sweet chilli sauce, followed by an orange and one of the fruity oat bars I baked last week (packed in a reusable tub). Him indoors doesn't do packed lunches, not that I haven't tried! It's usually a supermarket sandwich, yogurt and fruit, but today he was at a meeting with lunch included.
Food-related waste: inedible vegetable and fruit bits (peels, cores, seeds, etc.)
Packaging waste: celery wrapper.

Snacks: an apple and a banana, and some nuts (a small pot, filled from a big pack at home). Mark manages to munch some cake.
Food-related waste: banana peel, apple core.
Packaging waste: empty almond bag.

Dinner: haddock fillet with spicy beans, chorizo and cabbage, crusty bread, then yogurt and some flapjack. Clean plates all round apart from the scaly haddock skin!
Food-related waste: tough ribs from the cabbage's outer leaves, onion and garlic peel, fish skin.
Packaging waste: tomato and bean tins, plastic yogurt pot and lid, thin plastic bag from the fish, foil yogurt lid.

As you can see, there is plenty of "unavoidable food waste" (i.e. non-edible bits), but the vast majority of this (320g) can be composted. Just the fish skin (8g) has to go in the bin. Of the packaging, the tins and foil (110g) can be recycled, but the plastics (38g) can't.

One thing I do know is that there will be less compostable waste for me tomorrow as the launch event includes a buffet (suitably low-waste I hope...)

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