Sunday, 28 October 2012

Love Food Hate Waste week - Day 1

Have you heard of the Love Food Hate Waste ?

It's the campaign run by WRAP to raise awareness about reducing food waste and encourage people to take action.

"Why bother?", I hear you ask. Well the answer is pretty simple when you find out over 7.2million tonnes of food is thrown away from UK households every year.

The annual Love Food Hate Waste week at work is coming up (you know what they say about not talking the talk if you can't walk the walk...) and I've volunteered to try and go waste free for a week.

Now, I'm not really too phased by this as I don't think I really waste much food. I also think I'm a bit of an abnormal test specimen too. For a start I've got this blog so have more than a passing interest in food other than it being just fuel to I shovel down your throat; for me cooking is more of a hobby. (Rather coincidentally, I'm just making my way through Tristam Stuart's book Waste: Uncovering the Global Food Scandal). Also I only have to worry about myself each day, which is clearly quite different to fed a family and makes things (I assume) a bit easier for me.

If that's the nature side of things, then I think that there may also be an element of nurture at play as well. I grew up in a household where my mum and dad cooked dinner every night. Using up leftovers and making best use of all the food available was just something that was the "done thing". That philosophy has been passed on to me and I hate not to make the most of everything I've got.

Also having consulted my list of what's in the freezer, I currently have a 10 meals (i.e. things that I've cooked previously but deliberately cooked two portions instead of one, so that I have my own home-made "ready meals" for whenever I want) which I could just eat during the week, making me a zero waste hero, but that's not really the point, is it?

Anyhoo, let's see how it goes. I won't be keeping a food diary (i.e. listing all the stuff I eat) but will try and take more notice of what I'm throwing away at each meal time of the day and what leftovers there were (if any!).

Today being Sunday, I quite like to put some effort into making Sunday dinner and I fancied a pork schnitzel. Having made a list (as I always do) I went shopping for what I needed (including some provisions for lunch over the week).

I ended up having pork schnitzel with a mustard cream sauce (using up the final shallot I had in the fridge), with savoy cabbage and mustard mash.

Curiously, the Love Food Hate Waste portion calculator told me that I should have had two tablespoons of mashed potato. I find that quite a curious recommendation because I would prefer to know how much raw potato to cook to help me prevent waste: if I knew how much to cook I'd only cook that amount. As it was I cooked an entire medium sized potato, made it all into mash and ate the lot (but that's because I'm just a big old fatty) so there wasn't any waste.

My waste was:
  • Potato peelings - unavoidable
  • Outer cabbage leaves and stalk - unavoidable
  • A miserly amount of seasoned flour, egg and a few breadcrumbs from the schnitzel. Not much I could do with any of that as the flour has had raw meat in it, and the egg and breadcrumbs were cross-contaminated - unavoidable
My leftovers for the day are:
  • The remainder of a pork tenderloin - now in the freezer
  • Half a savoy cabbage - needs to be used up this week
  • Remains of a small pot of cream - needs to be used up this week
[Again at the back of my mind I have the thought that I quite enjoy the challenge of using leftovers up...]

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