Day 1 Menu
- 2 slices of toast with peanut butter
- 1 fried egg sandwich
- 3 bowls of Chicken congee (rice porridge)
I had a big dinner last night and even had seconds before bed because I thought I should. I wasn’t hungry when I woke up still full so bumped breakfast to be eaten at morning tea. Feeling good, but tired. No coffee or tea. Just lots of hot water.
The hardest thing today was was lunchtime. I made the mistake of going into the kitchen to top up my water. Someone was having a big plate of lasagna that had been cut up into six pieces. One or two pieces would be enough but he was eating all six pieces for lunch. Hard not to comment on the portions size when you’re feeling hungry, but I really don’t want to be that asshole. I usually hate when people comment on my giant lunches! Tomorrow, I’m avoiding the kitchen at lunchtime.
I watched Tristram Stuart’s talk The Global Food Waste Scandal last night. Watch it here if you are interested in global food waste. It’s less than 15 minutes long.
As I type this and I’m feeling hungry on just day one of the challenge, it makes me mad. Food waste should be taboo. People should feel terrible when throwing out perfectly edible food. Food waste isn’t taboo but it only takes a generation to change an attitude to any subject.
Home cooks are usually pretty good at minimising food waste. Especially if you’re the one shopping and cooking. You don’t buy more than you can eat because you have a good idea of quantities.
Fortunately, it’s not the consumer that’s wasting the vast majority of food. It’s the producers, who are at the whim of the buyers. The buyers set standards for how food should look. Anything that doesn’t meet those standards are discarded. It’s an incredible waste. But the consumer can make demands. We can insist that bananas that are not to supermarket size specification are still edible.
I guess one criticism I have of the whole situation, is that the ones making the decisions aren’t the ones in need of food. You wouldn’t order the discarding of thousands of tons of food if you were feeling hungry.
I read a book a while back (animal, vegetable, miracle) that talked about food waste in production, specifically produce that didn’t meet supermarket specifications. So shocking – I never really noticed how the supermarket fruit and veges are all the same size before that, or what that actually meant. Your right though, consumers have a lot of power here.
Hi Jessica, it’s hard not to pick the closest to perfect apple when you’re presented with a whole lot of apples. But if they were all presented, big and small, blemished or not, the most perfect apples would be picked out and bought first and the rest would be bought as they day progressed. It wouldn’t take a genius to learn that they all taste good. Sometimes I just want a small apple. Y’know?
I couldn’t find a like button on this page – so consider this a ‘Like’.
There was an article in the NZHearld a while back about how blemished apples etc are actually better for you because the fruit produces more antioxidants to protect against the bruise/blemish – but there is a need to educate consumers on this fact (I think there’s a need to educate supermarkets on this fact… let the people decide…)
Interesting point. I hadn’t heard that before, but it makes me feel better next time I have a bruised apple.
Not sure if you are aware of it or not (probably you are!) but Jamie Oliver has recently been promoting these ‘Odd Bunch’ bags of fruit and veg that are sold at Woolworths here. They are all strangely shaped, a few bumps and dents etc, but have funny stories written on the bags to entice people to buy them.
These fruit and veg beauties are being made available here so that farmers can have access to selling more of their stock that would otherwise go to waste, having previously been considered not good enough to sell due to how it is visually.
I buy them often and they are actually the best tasting fruit and veg compared to your standard version, and also often on special due to the supermarket trying to promote them which is nice. Very glad that they have come up with a way to sell more of this stock and to not see it otherwise go to waste! 🙂
I generally avoid buying produce from the supermarket. It’s about 2-3 times the price of my chinese grocer and you’re right, the stuff is *too* perfect. It’s great that supermarkets are starting to look at imperfect produce. If people begin to buy them, then that’s good for everyone….except for the supermarkets as they lose in the end.
Thanks for the comment back! I’ve been inspired to go and check out the Chinese grocery stores in our Central markets in the city next time I’m close by after reading your accounts of it. I guess it’s just what you’ve grown up with and what you’re used to as to where you shop, but lucky are we in this country that there are so many different cultures here that allow us to learn from each other and grow mentally and socially!