OLIO – the app that helps avoid food waste

So much food, which takes so much energy, work and care to be made, gets wasted every single day…bag loads of edible food are discarded merely yards away from people who cannot even afford to buy it. It breaks my heart.
It’s a symptom of a failed food system, and even though it may be the norm in the Global North it does not mean it’s right.

This video says it all: The Extraordinary Life and Times of a Strawberry. It’s under 2 minutes and well worth a watch.

The good news is, we can all do something to prevent this is awful waste.
During class, one day, someone mentioned there was an app which helps reduce food waste by connecting people who have surplus / unwanted / unnecessary food to others who want or need it.

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Sustainable Technology: What do you know about it?

If you are reading this, the chances are you are doing so while being connected to the internet and reading these words on a screen, whether it’s a smartphone, laptop, tablet or desktop computer.

Many of us spend hours in front of a screen and search all sorts of things every single day.

 

But what is the environmental impact of all this?

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Camping Without A Trace

Today is Tuesday, but for many it’s like a fast-forwarding Monday, as August’s Bank Holiday weekend ended last night.

I spent mine at Reading’s music festival πŸ™‚

Last time I went to a festival was 5 years ago at the Leeds equivalent, so another live music-filled weekend was due – especially as my mate D had been suggesting it for years!

We saw more than 30 live acts, and the absolute best were Enter Shikari. They interact with the audience like no one else! I highly recommend watching their show on BBC iPlayer. πŸ™‚

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100 Ways to be More Sustainable – 100th Post

Hello everyone, this is my 100th post! πŸ™‚

I started this blog on 5th February 2012, over 2 years ago, and have finally got to the 100 mark.

As I started off with the idea of writing a blog that would show that acting more sustainably can be easy and have benefits such as saving energy, money and pollute less, I thought it would be a good idea to write about 100 ways to be more sustainable for the 100th post πŸ™‚

 

First, though, I would like to thank you.

Thank you if you are reading this, thank you if you have been following me since the start, since last year or if you are a new follower.

Thank you for every “like”, comment and share. Thank you for supporting me in my little mission.

 

Now, to the more practical side of things.

Everything we do has an impact on the environment, this impact can be more or less sustainable, if we think of it as “capable of being maintained as a steady level without exhausting natural resources or causing severe ecological damage”.

So, here we go, just over 100 tips on how to be more sustainable! Click on the links to discover more about these eco-tactics πŸ™‚

 

Less energy-hungry food (16)

  • Eat less energy-demanding meat. It only takes a few seconds to look at this World Food Clock and realise how we produce, consume and waste every single second. (Thank you for sharing, Janina). Here are some ideas to get your newly recommended 7 (or even more) a day! 10 Ways to 10 a Day from KHGS.
  • Eat more lentils! They are an excellent sustainable source of protein and easy to grow too.

 

Lenticchie di Norcia - Italian Lentils

Lenticchie di Norcia – Italian Lentils

 

  • Store food properly. By doing so, it will last longer and you will waste less. Did you know spring onions last longer in a glass of water in the fridge? πŸ™‚
  • Plan meals ahead and let frozen meals thaw in the fridge. This will save you energy because the fridge will need less electricity to keep the temperature low, plus you won’t need to defrost the meal in the microwave either. Guide:Β How to defrost safely.
  • Buy locally, go to farmers’ markets or local farms – you will be supporting smaller producers and you can save money too.
  • Have a look at supermarkets’ reduced to clear sections.
    You can find amazing bargains, especially towards the end of the day (loaves of bread for 20p), and purchase food that would otherwise go to waste. You can then consume it as soon as possible or freeze it for future use and save a lot of money.

 

Reduced Food

Amazingly cheap but still perfectly fine reduced food

 

  • Understand the difference between “best before” dates and “use by” dates. Look at the Ultimate Shelf Life Guide to avoid wasting food unnecessarily.
  • When you go out, try local produce and products. From craft beers to wine, from pies to vegetables and fruit: give your local producers a try!

 

Less Pollution (22)

  • Try natural alternative to laundry detergents, such as affordableΒ soap nuts.

Green People Mascara

  • Give car sharing a try. Try sharing rides with colleagues, share a taxi or simply use public transport or start cycling.
  • Learn to drive consuming less fuel: Cut your speed and petrol bill.
    As a pedestrian, if you see a single car coming along, and you’re not in too much of a rush of course, let it drive past so they don’t need to break and re-depart after, which would use more fuel.
  • Walk more. Ramblers is a website that shows many walking routes, or you could simply walk more and use your car less.
  • If you need to pack a parcel, reuse bubble wrap or – even better – use strips of waste paper and ask the receiver to reuse or recycle them after.
  • Try purchasing less plastic and buying reusable items made of less toxic materials. You can start by taking a reusable bag when you go shopping. Life Without Plastic.
  • When you are eating out, ask for tap water rather than bottled water (in areas where it is safe, of course). Why Tap Water is Better.
  • To freshen your home, use essential oils rather than chemical-filled air fresheners. You only need a few drops in a burner or in a spray bottle.
  • Instead of sponges which are not recyclable and harbour bacteria, use cloths which can be washed and reused.

 

Reusable Material Cloth and Ecover

Reusable Material Cloth and Ecover

 

  • Switch to online billing rather than paper billing, some companies offer discounts for the switch too.
  • To get rid of oil stains, rub chalk on the affected area before washing rather than using harsh chemicals.
  • Take your own lunch to work, you will cut down on a lot of packaging and also save around Β£1,000 per year!

 

Take a packed lunch to work :)

Take a packed lunch to work πŸ™‚

 

  • When changing the oil for your car, make sure you dispose of it properly as it can pollute waterways and kill wildlife. Find your nearest UK oil bank.
  • Try to purchase products that don’t rely on batteries, and if they must, use rechargeable ones. Look for solar power chargers for an extra sustainable option.

 

Make, repair&fix (12)

 

Make Do and Mend

 

 

  • Turn used trousers into shorts or skirts.
  • Get to know your neighbours, they may need something you can offer and they may be able to offer something you need.
    My flatmate designed the website for the restaurant next door to us.
  • Make your own body scrub, for example by mixing olive oil with a bit of ground salt and sugar. Simple!
  • Make your mirrors, windows and glass objects sparkle by using white vinegar. Add some in a spray bottle (you can dilute it with 1:10 vinegar to water up to 50/50) and apply with scrunched newspaper to leave no traces or marks.
  • Make a wood cleaner by mixing two parts of vegetable oil with one part lemon juice, use with a cloth.
  • If you prefer purchasing cleaning products, choose eco-friendly ones such as Ecover.
  • To freshen up smelly shoes, try filling them up with scrunched newspaper overnight or sprinkle the insides with bicarbonate of soda or talcum powder and shake them out the day after.

 

Buy less, use less and buy better quality (9)

 

  • Do a little research about brands you may want to purchase: do they pay sustainable wages to their workers? Labour Behind the Label.
  • Use less plastic and more natural or oil-free materials, have a look at alternatives from Life Without Plastic.
  • Reuse things: for example, jars can be used as containers for more food or other objects.
    Here are 40 ways to reuse newspaper. Take a reusable coffee cup, like a Keep Cup, to the coffee shop instead of using disposable ones. Some places give you a discount if you bring your own cup too!
  • Buy second-hand books, they can be so much cheaper! Or borrow reading material from your local library.
  • Have your shoes resoled once they need to and keep on using them. I have had my boots for 7 years and they’re great!
  • Dye clothes that have faded and give them a new life.

 

Bank Better

 

  • Triodos Bank is “a global pioneer of sustainable banking.” Their mission is “to make money work for positive social, environmental and cultural change.”

 

Lend

 

  • Give someone the opportunity to create a sustainable business and alleviate poverty with the Kiva project, you can lend as little as $25 to someone who needs it and who will give it back to you when possible.

 

Save Energy (15)

 

  • Invest in an energy-saving product such as Energenie in order to save energy and money.
  • When charging devices, unplug them once they are fully charged, avoid leaving them plugged in unnecessarily or overnight.
  • Look for energy-efficient domestic appliances.
  • Buy rechargeable batteries and replace your batteries rather than replacing your whole phone.
  • Turn off the oven a few minutes before the time is up, the heat remains in the oven for a long time after you switch it off.
  • Try to use the oven as its full capacity when you use it, you can add meals to eat later in the week or use it to make croutons out of stale bread, for example.
  • Switch to a green energy supplier.
  • Wear warmer clothing and adjust your central heating to avoid wasting energy and money.
  • When you dry your clothes indoors, avoid putting them on radiators as this will stop the heat from reaching the room, create damp and good conditions for mold to grow.
  • Cook in bulk and therefore save energy. You can freeze additional portions.
  • Cook food in a steamer, you can cook different things on each level at the same time.

 

Recycle and Reuse (11)

 

  • Save paint from going to waste, Community Repaint collect reusable paint and distribute it to those who need it, helping them and avoiding waste.
  • Recycle your shoes at a collection bank.
  • Clear your cupboards of old electronic equipment, sell it or recycle in appropriate centres.
  • Consider going to charity shops first to find what you need. It could be a frame, and even if you don’t like a picture you may love the frame. Give things a new life.
  • You can recycle all sorts of things, even ink cartridges. Check before you throw.
  • Donate, don’t throw. If you have unwanted furniture, give it to a friend or donate it to a charity.
  • Borrow instead of buying, Freecycle.org can help you find what you need with no need to buy it.
  • Share more. You will save money, use fewer resources, meet new people… 10 reasons to share.
  • Use carpets in many ways to avoid them ending up in landfill. Use them to line cupboards, cars as mats, pet beds,Β  as doormats and even under plant pots.

 

Waste Less (9)

 

  • Compost food and tea bags to fertilise the soil which you will be able to use to grow your own herbs, vegetables, food or plants.
  • Reuse timber material from skips.
  • Take your own suit bags to the dry cleaner’s rather than having them give you flimsy plastic ones and take back the hangers for them to reuse.
  • Reuse tea bags – when you make tea in a cup, you can often reuse it for another cup as their strength is usually enough for a few cups. Or use loose tea leaves and then compost them if possible.

CHai Tea

  • Buy in bulk or buy refills.
  • When you go to a restaurant, if you cannot finish your meal, ask to take it away in a doggy box. It’s a compliment to those who took care to source and prepare the food, and you have paid for the whole portion, don’t be shy! Too Good To Waste Campaign.

 

Save Water (5)

 

  • Choose a dual flush system or put a water-saving device in your loo tank to use less water with every flush.
  • When you are waiting for cold water to turn hot, collect it rather than letting it go down the drain and use it to water flower and plants, wash fruit and vegetables, fill the kettle…don’t waste it!
  • Use a tank to collect rain water. It’s ideal to water plants or wash the car.
  • Wash your vegetables in a bowl rather than under running water and use that water for plants and flowers.

 

What do you like to do to be more sustainable?

Do you have any additional tips?

 

*Special thanks to my amazing flatmate G for continuously contributing to ideas for this post*

Don’t Spend, Mend!

Are you a DIY lover?

I’m actually not, but there are some things that I like to do myself to avoid creating needs for things I could simply mend and carry on using.

One thing I like to do is mending clothes. And the point is, I’m not that good at it. But I care about the things I own, I like to look after them so they can last as much as possible and if they get wounded on the way, I like to give them a hand to recover and my basic stitching skills seem to do the trick.

A button missing here, a little hole there, a stubborn stain… if you give a little bit of love and time to clothes, they will keep on loving you.

By mending things you are less likely to purchase new things, new things that needed a lot of energy and produce carbon emissions to get to you. So you’re being sustainable πŸ™‚ oh, and you’re saving money πŸ˜‰ all you need is a very basic sewing kit (I only have 1 needle and 3 different coloured cotton thread reels and manage with that).

Since the beginning of the financial crisis we have seen various “waste not want not” topics arise in different ways.

This new topic trend translated itself in creating and mending clothes too, with programmes such as The Great British Sewing Bee popping up on our screens in May last year in the U.K. and starting again next Tuesday at 8pm.

I thought of this post because I finally tackled some stitching and mending I had put aside. I “saved” 2 pairs of shorts, 1 pair of jeans, a jumper, a pair of tracksuit bottoms, a T-shirt, a bra, some underwear and a pair of tights.

All of these items had a little fault but they are now ready to be worn again, in fact I wore the tights the day after I mended them and have put off buying a new pair. Pretty good for about for about 45 minutes of mending while listening to the radio.

I have also received pretty interesting Pinterest suggestions on craft, sewing etc.

Some people are talented enough to make their own wedding dress out of fabric unwanted by others, which is ridiculously amazing and inspiring, however if you are not so good at sewing, stitching and darning you can find a lot of tutorials online or maybe someone in your family or circle of friends could help! It will give you a cosy sense of achievement πŸ™‚

DIY Scalloped Hem Skirt

DIY Scalloped Hem Skirt Tutorial from uberchiforcheap.com

I am planning to save more garments by rescuing them from stubborn stains. The way I usually do it is by adding thin bleach do a little dish, diluting it with water and then gently dabbing it to the affected area (I wear rubber gloves and use cotton wool to dab it). I let it sink a few seconds, rub it gently then put the garment in the washing machine or wash it by hand.

My mum now uses a nice Summer jacket that used to be stained.

I also have the intention to refresh the look of an unwanted coat by adding colourfulΒ  buttons to it, make a cushion out of a wooly jumper I don’t want to wear and a pair of shorts out of a pair of jeans, taking inspiration from this Little Miss Bow Peep blog post.

I will update this post once I have done this πŸ™‚

Here is some inspiration and help to mend, create and update clothes, such as this dress from the WobiSobi blog.

DIY Dress Pinterest

DIY Dress Pinterest

 

Pinterest inspiration:

Thrifty Crafts

Sewing

Make do and mend

DIY Projects

DIY: Fashion

Pin it, Make it, Wear it

Knits and Knots if you’d like to give knitting a try

 

Youtube:

How to repair rips in your clothes video

Hand Sewing Basics video

The British Sewing Bee: How To…

And if something really cannot be mended, take it to the charity shop or to H&M’s garmet collecting bins to ensure it can be reused or recycled rather than end up in landfill.

Do you ever mend clothes?

Do TV shows and tutorials inspire you to try some DIY mending?

Christmadness: How to Avoid Waste at Christmas

Hello! Are you feeling Christmassy yet? πŸ™‚

DIY Christmas Jumper for Save The Children

DIY 3D Christmas Jumper for Save The Children charity day: Christmas decorations and safety pins πŸ™‚

-On Friday we wore Christmassy jumpers at work for the Save the Children charity.

We all donated a minimum of Β£1 and had a bit of a tacky Christmas jumper competition. The donations will help buy mosquito nets, treat children and save lives, did you have a Christmas jumper day?

Rather than buying a cheaply made one from Primark and then not wearing it again and wasting it, I simply secured some of my Christmas decorations to my second hand jumper with safety pins! πŸ™‚

You could also be a little craftier a make one with beads, pearls or glitter like what they did in this boohoo TV video!

~

Sorry about the long silence, I recently moved to NW London and it has taken me weeks to complete the move! I was waiting to sort that out before churning out new posts. I hope you are well πŸ™‚

Christmas preparations have been simmering away since the end of October and we’re getting closer to the big day.

What is Christmas for you? I guess it can be a myriad of different things for each of us: a time to be kind, cheerful, celebrate, indulge, spend time with loved ones, a time to be generous…it’s all lovely but can be stressful and hectic too, hence the “Christmadness feeling” of having to get so much done.

Many of us will have some time off around Christmas and will be able to relax, sleep more and will be busy cooking, preparing, clearing, eating and perhaps thinking of all the things that have happened this year while looking forward to a prosperous new one.

Of course there is another side to Christmas: celebrations often come with the sort ofΒ  “more is more” mood and excess often means waste (of food, time, money, energy…).

Fortunately there are some very useful tools that can help wasting less and making the most of Christmas!

Avoid Food Waste

When I think of Christmas I think of food, and I am not the only one, right?

Here is the Love Food Hate Waste Advent Calendar (I know it’s a bit late but all the tips can still be useful now!)

This clever advent calendar has 24 tips that can help you avoid food waste this Christmas. Making room in the freezer, planning meals and portions, recipes to use up leftovers…have a look πŸ™‚

If you want to try to eat more sustainably too, try to incorporate more seasonal and local vegetables and less meat in your Christmas menu, you can find delicious vegetarian and vegan Christmas recipes from:

+

How to store food safely to avoid wasting it – NHS guide

A sustainable tree

…Have you put a Christmas tree up? My friend R and I were talking about this the other day: what’s more eco-friendly, an artificial tree or a real one?

Artificial tree: built to last

Artificial tree: built to last

I said an artificial one, because you can use it for 20 years without cutting any trees, but R said a real one would be better as producing a fake one must use a lot of energy and chemicals. I did a little bit of research and found a popular eco-friendly option: potted Christmas trees!

Buying a potted Christmas tree from companies such as Clifton means you can have a real, live tree for several years (if you can keep it somewhere!) or you can even rent one from companies such as this U.S. one called Living Christmas CompanyΒ or from the Little Tree Company in the U.K. – isn’t that great? You get to have a real tree for Christmas, with its lovely resiny scent and know it won’t be disgracefully left on the pavement in January.

More information on the artificial/real tree debate is provided on this Friends of the Earth page full of eco-friendly tips. You could get a tree from Freecycle or eBay or purchase a real one from a Soil Association-approved company and why not try energy-saving LED Christmas lights which use a fraction of the electricity?

Sustainable gifts

One of the aspects of Christmas I don’t like is that daunting feeling of having to buy presents for people. People you may not see very often, who you may not know well…gifts that end up being generic, bulky -a foot SPA that you will never have time to use, anyone? – probably unnecessary, unwanted and ultimately wasted.

It really upsets me that so many gifts we end up buying are a waste of time, money and energy…what happened to writing Christmas lists?

We are all so busy nowadays that it is pretty hard to know exactly what someone may desire or need (there are only so many pashminas a lady may need, trust me!)…but a Christmas list can help! πŸ™‚ It may be less of a surprise but buying something your loved ones need can make them happier and avoid your gifts from becoming desolate dust-gatherers.

Candles are pretty...but maybe we can buy something a little more useful ;)

Candles are pretty…but maybe we can buy something a little more useful πŸ˜›

There are more interesting tips on the F.O.E. website to make your Christmas sustainable with homemade gifts – if you can, have a look at these lovely vegan ones posted by Poppy-, and sustainable gift wrapping: I will either be using recycled wrapping paper (paper I saved from previous occasions and put aside for the next occasion), newspaper with colourful ribbons or I will be wrapping gifts in colourful cloth or scarves that can be kept as a gift too.

Recycling all the paper after being used will prevent it from going to landfill and give it another life (and can possibly make you feel like a superhero!).

Sustainable Gift Ideas

  • Organic, vegan, fair trade food is more sustainable, needs less energy to be produced and is fairer to the producers, so if you know a keen cook you could put together a lovely hamper of food goodies or purchase one such as these Organic Green&Black’s ones
Delivery Time!

Delivery Time!

Organic Goodies

Organic Goodies

A few birthdays ago my mum got me this amazing food delivery for my birthday, it was a great present! It had lots of organic goodies I would not have bought myself, tons of amazing sun dried tomatoes and it was simply a treat! I made a lovely Sunday lunch the day after with all those vegetables πŸ™‚

  • Chocolate – if in doubt, buy chocolate! Soph at Raw Nibbles makes sustainable raw, vegan, organicΒ  and refined sugar-free chocolate and other treats in England – so healthy you will be able to enjoy them even during a January diet! They have 10% off orders over Β£25 in December too πŸ™‚
  • Vouchers: people often moan about not having enough room and space where they live, so instead of a (potentially dust-gathering) gift, you could get them a voucher for their favourite shop or restaurant to look forward to using during the “January blues” period
  • Buy from sustainable companies, such as Lush – I got this amazing Lush gift box last year and it had lovely vegan freshly handmade cosmetics such as Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner which smells so utterly delicious you’ll be tempted to eat it!
Lush Xmas Goodies

Lush Xmas Goodies

Lush only make vegetarian and vegan cosmetics, fight against animal testing and use as little chemicals as possible – they have something for everyone!

  • Natural Collection is a website full of more sustainable gift ideas, from food to garden and beauty products
  • National Geographic Magazine: you could purchase an all-year round gift such as a magazine subscription for National Geographic, which can only inspire to love our planet more
  • Adopt an animal – that would be another great gift, especially for a child! You can do so with WWF
  • Nigel’s Eco Store has gift ideas to make you save energy such as solar-powered lights and waste less with reusable coffee take-away cups
  • Etsy – “Etsy is a marketplace where people around the world connect to buy and sell unique goods.Β  Etsy is proud to be a certified B Corporation β€” a new kind of company that uses the power of business to solve social and environmental problems.Β  – Have a look to find all sorts of clothes, crockery, jewellery made by small producers.

Borrow more, spend less

If you need extra chairs, beds, lights, try to borrow them from friends, family or use Freecycle, Streetbank or Ecomodo to source them, you will save money and avoid having to get rid of all these things once the holidays are over.

Are you looking forward to Christmas?

How do you enjoy spending it?

Back to the Future

After we got back from our trip to Normandy, we went to our local supermarket to stock up on fresh food, but that’s not the only fresh things we got.

Maybe we unconsciously wanted to keep being surrounded by plants like we were on holiday…

We bought fresh basil and parsley pots and a new flower plant that was reduced to clear to 29p as it was looking past its prime, (the previous week I had bought another orchid for 39p!) and a cyclamen.

Fresh Basil and Parsley Plants

Fresh Basil and Parsley Plants

Out window sill is now fuller than ever with pretty flowers!

Flowers!

Flowers πŸ™‚

During the journey back I also caught up reading a Stylist magazine issue from the end of July called “The Good Life?“. It was full of information on how to take steps to lead a healthier, more sustainable life.

Stylist is a free magazine distributed in London on Tuesday evenings/Wednesday mornings that is always full of well-written, interesting articles and I found this one particularly inspiring. It was about Stylist staff slowing down and staying in Launceston Farm in Dorset for a few days and I felt I could partly relate to their experiences, having just left our nature-filled break.

These Stylist editors, the junior writer and the photography director had some rules while staying at this farm:

  • No mobile phones, smartphones or any other electronic equipment
  • No internet or e-mail access
  • No sat navs or GPS equipment
  • No credit or debit cards, just simple cash
  • Only eat food they could pick or kill themselves or source from an independent retailer within a 15-mile radius
  • No contact whatsoever with their office
Stylist "The Good Life?" Issue from 24th July 2013

Stylist “The Good Life?” Issue from 24th July 2013

I think it sounded like a great challenge / experiment, especially for people who rely on constant updates and news via social media platforms, internet and e-mails as part of their jobs and lives.

I did something similar:Β  -I didn’t use my phone on holiday except to briefly check my e-mails a few times to let my mum know we had got there safely and what we were up to, -we didn’t have a sat nav and ended up driving around maize crops in the pitch black a bit longer than planned; -I only used cash; -most of the vegan food I had was local, including organic vegetables from the neighbour and I didn’t have any contact with my office.

The “I’m a journalist…get me out of here!” article tells about how everyone got on with “no phones, laptop, TV or radio”.

It’s actually quite funny, as the author describes the panic they all felt when prompted to hand over their phones, knowing they wouldn’t be able to whizz them out at any moment to Tweet, post on Instagram, or check the news.

It goes on to describe how they sourced their food. They were all brought up to eat meat but none of them had ever shot a living creature. In the evening they had rabbit pie, as for the farmer rabbits are crop-ruining vermin.

Being away from all sorts of devices helped them sleep really well, they picked their own vegetables from a nearby farm, foraged for elderflower and told each other ghost stories after their made-from-scratch, locally sourced dinner.

One thing I notice a lot at my office is that people are always tired…no matter who it is, even after the weekend or a holiday people are generally tired! Could it really be linked to our super-stimulated world where we just can’t relax properly?

By the end of it all some realised they normally find it hard to relax in our tech-filled world, or that they spend their free time on the phone. Some enjoyed it but would have loved to document some of their experiences by posting photos and messages about them and others noticed they didn’t get their daily headaches.

 

The next article I enjoyed reading in this issue was “Where does your garden grow?

"Where does your garden grow?"

“Where does your garden grow?”

It starts off by saying that after they spent a little while in the countryside it was really easy to feel like start growing their own vegetables, making lovely meals from scratch (I do too, even more after going to Normandy)…then it snaps to the reality that makes up many of the readers’ lives: we work long hours and things like these take a lot longer than grabbing convenient pre-packed food.

Convenience shop numbers in the UK confirm this, we’re never too far from somewhere that offers packaged, ready-to-eat products that take a few minutes to be ready in the microwave.

However, after issues such as the horsemeat scandalΒ  and news of processed meat being linked with early death earlier on this year, fortunately people are starting to be more careful with what they purchase and consume.

According to the article, more and more people are “flexitarians”, that is, people who mainly have a vegetarian diet but occasionally eat meat and fish.

The meat available for us to buy comes in glamorous, clean packaging making it easy for us to forget where it comes from. I agree with the author when she says that “if we are prepared to eat something, we should know how the animal has been killed to get it”.

She writes about going to an abattoir, describing something similar to what the French farmer explained to me last week as animals are checked, inspected and treated with respect, but adding that unfortunately other abattoirs operate cruelly, with a member of the team telling her we should get meat from a local butcher to know animals have been treated with such respect.

Another interesting point: what’s the cost of our demand to have fruit and vegetables all year-round, out of season? Have you noticed that asparagus, one of the most sensitive vegetables, are imported from Peru and only come from the U.K. in May-June?

Our quest for cheap food also means that we often bring down the economy of our own country (and not just for the U.K.). One of the well-known examples are of New Zealand lamb being a fraction of the price of British lamb, despite travelling so far to reach us.

If we bought higher welfare meat and dairy, we would support British farmers. Have a look at the Red Tractor Logo website to know more about the benefits that come with choosing products that bear it. It’s actually Red Tractor Week from 16th to 22nd September.

Finally, the article ends showing what we can do to directly make “a big difference to the environment, your health and your friendly local farmer”.

  • Buy British lamb (better if from a local butcher or the farmers’ market)
  • Cut down on your meat intakeΒ maybe start by not having meat a couple of days a week
  • Buy fruit and vegetables in seasonΒ 
  • Avoid chicken that just says “fresh” if it’s not organic of free-range it was factory farmed 😦
  • Check the label carefully such as the Freedom Food label
  • Buy British (or your own country’s) dairy
  • Choose free-range eggs (or organic)free-range eggs are actually healthier and less likely to harbour salmonella”
Red Tractor Logo

Red Tractor Logo

Freedom Food Logo

Freedom Food Logo

Useful links:

How do you think you’d feel with no electronic equipment for a few days?

What can we learn from the past to improve our future?

Which steps would you consider taking to lead a healthier and more sustainable life?