Sunday, August 23, 2009

Local Food

Why do people buy fruit and vegetables from abroad when at this time of the year there is so much local produce available?
A walk in the countryside or even down an urban canal towpath will reveal backberries galore all waiting to be picked. Mixed with some local apple what is better with custard! For later in the winter some blackberry jam or jelly is reminder of the past summer.
A stroll round the market will reveal that most local produce are in abundance at present. Runner beans are dripping off the plants and courgettes and sweet corn are being sold by the bowlful. All are lovely cooked straight away but make ingredients for other things that keep. We have just made and stocked up with chutney because we had more rhubarb and victoria plums than we knew what to do with.
Bringing food in from faraway countries at this time of the year is producing carbon dioxide that we are trying to reduce so lets ask ourselves “is it really necessary” before we buy.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Ministers to act to reduce food waste?

It looks like the Love Food Hate Waste campaign is gaining support, with Ministers saying that supermarkets' buy-one-get-one-free offers should be scrapped and replaced with half price offers.

It is estimated that cutting out unnecessary wastage would be the equivalent to removing one fifth of traffic from the UK's roads.

It was only a few months ago that Birmingham City Council pledged their support to the Love Food Hate Waste campaign as a study by revealed that £10 billion pounds worth of food is being thrown away each year.

WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme) state that we throw away one third of food we buy each year, roughly £420-£610 dependant on the household.

One of the reasons behind the readiness to throw unused food away is due to the lack of knowledge on the subject, as most people believe that food waste is a benign substance and that it just rots away in the landfill, so perhaps this move will bring the problem to the public’s attention.

Love Food Hate Waste also have their top ten tips on how to reduce food waste.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Bottled Water

Have you heard that the town of Bundanoon in Australia has banned the sale of bottled water because of the concern of the environmental impact.

They had a public meeting to vote on the matter and 300 people turned up and only one person voted against the ban.

This follow on from Leeds University students who voted to ban bottled water at the end of last year During the academic year 2007/08, Leeds University Union sold 180,698 bottles, making water its top-selling product. Without those sales, the Union will forfeit £32,940 but they still felt it was worth doing.

Environmental activists argue tap water uses 300 times less energy to create and distribute than bottled water and produces much less waste.

Environment minister Phil Woolas joined in the criticisms of bottled water, arguing it was "daft" for Britons to consume six million litres of it when tap water is safe and cheap. "It borders on morally being unacceptable to spend hundreds of millions of pounds on bottled water when we have pure drinking water, when at the same time one of the crises that is facing the world is the supply of water,"

Bottled water is a comparatively modern thing. Twenty years ago it was a very small market. Perhaps we should all consider whether we really need to buy a new bottle. Could we not just fill up an existing one if we need to carry a bottle around with us.