I watched an incredibly engaging and thought provoking programme this week called 'Feast to Save the Planet.' In case you didn't, it's available on iPlayer until 2nd Feb 2021. I kind of knew most of the facts - beef has the worst carbon footprint, eat local food, cut down on food waste etc. But there were some new ones - such as NEVER buy asparagus out of season, and Australian wine is better than European beer. And the scale of the differences in carbon footprint and the amount of food we waste as a nation made me want to crawl into a hole and die. Terrifying.
I'm sure most of you are much better than me at this already, but it really made me think. Why am I not really taking this seriously and acting upon this knowledge every time I go food shopping? It's really hard to explain. Time? Habit? Detailed knowledge? Selfishness? All of those things I think, but mostly the last one.
So let's knock out those reasons. We all have time at the moment. We're in lock down. Our lives are on hold. I do not have a Time excuse right now. And that means now is the perfect time to fix the next one, which is to get into new habits. Stop thinking about what I would really like to eat next week and start thinking about what I like that is in season, what is in the fridge that needs using, what is in my cupboard that is close to its sell by date. What about knowledge? Well, what do you know, all I had to do was type 'Food waste and Carbon impact' into the search engine of my choice, and an enormous raft of easy to access resources popped up.
This incredible book, How bad are bananas tells you everything you could need to know and much more.
A guide to seasonal food and some handy recipes are a click away.
20 easy ways to reduce food waste is a great article.
So that just leaves selfishness. I never thought of myself as a particularly selfish person, and I don't want to start re-evaluating that now. I have set myself a new year Objective and some Key Results to measure progress. Objective: reduce my household food carbon footprint by 50% by the end of 2021. Key results for Q1: 1) By the end of March, have nothing in the cupboard that is within a week of its sell by date 2) Per shop, only buy a maximum of one item of fruit and veg that is made outside Europe (bananas are not as bad as you think, BTW) and 3) No meat items to be bought from outside the UK
Yeah, I know, I won't be challenging Greta Thunberg for environmentalist of the year any time soon, but better to set small goals I should be able to stick to and build on them than try to change the world all at once and crash and burn.