No Food To Waste (17): an introduction…

I’ve always been very conscious when throwing away leftovers (and actually felt a bit sick) and I’m keen to teach my children about the importance of food. So when I asked my neighbour (and close friend) for any suggestions on what I should base my new social media campaign on, she answered, without hesitation, “definitely food waste”. I wasn’t sure if it was the subject for me, as I certainly don’t claim to be an expert on the matter, however I’m hoping the passion my friend saw when I refused to throw away a slightly over-ripened banana that my youngest rejected, saying “I’ll save it for my smoothie tomorrow”, combined with the fact that I’m keen to keep learning (and sharing) about this subject, may be of interest to a wider audience who are in the same situation as me.

An interesting fact to get us going…

In 2015, the waste and recycling body Wrap estimated that UK households threw away a staggering £13 billion worth of food that could have been eaten — that’s approximately 7.3 million tonnes of wasted grub!

Who am I?

So, it would be rude not to introduce myself.. My name is Lynne and I’m 37 years old (just turned), with a lovely husband who shares the same birthday as me (yes and the same year — and no we are not related). We have 2 beautiful little girls, see below, aged 5 and 2 & 1/2 years, a cat called Ebony (I’ll let you guess her colour) and some fish. We live in a lovely little village near to Worthing and are very fortunate to spend a lot of our time on the beach. My husband works full time & I have my own online health & wellness network marketing company. We are a busy family, always out and about and that’s the way I love it.

What makes my story ‘different’ is that I think I’m actually just like the ‘average’ mum. I’m not vegan (I have many friends who are and that’s cool), I don’t use organic food (although I probably really should & sometimes feel a bit guilty), I shop in Aldi (am I allowed to say that on here?), I’m always busy and I just want to be and do the best for our little family.

Sisters. Our two little girls

As well as being mindful about what I throw in the bin, I’ve always enjoyed planning meals, baking with the girls, growing a couple of herbs & veggies (tomatoes and chilli plants are my go-to staples each year), however it all started to fall by the wayside, as life in general became busier. I needed an overhaul — they say it takes 30 days to make a habit stick, so I’m on a mission to rekindle my passions.

My intentions..

No Food To Waste is a campaign that will explore and discuss aspects of food waste; its effects on our world, our country, our communities and us, as families and individuals (this is where I will be concentrating most of my efforts).

As you may have noticed from this blog, it’s not all going to be serious stuff. I will make weekly pledges to show my commitment (more details to follow)— I can’t expect others to make a change and get involved, if I’m not prepared to myself.

As well as providing you with occasional stats & facts and relevant local (and sometimes national) foodie news, these are the particular areas where I’m looking to focus;

Meal planning- I don’t know about you, but if I don’t have a plan of action for what we eat, our meals tend to rotate week-on-week and I become quite stressed trying to decide what to feed everyone at the end of the day. Quite often you’ll find the girls requesting their favourite meal — JP’s with cheese & beans, not necessarily a bad meal, but if I’m not careful they’ll go off this too! Also meal planning will help with endless mini-trips to the shop, along with budgeting, which I’m very mindful of, having been made redundant last year and setting up my new business.

Store Cupboard & Leftover ideas — you’d be surprised what you can make from random items you have in your store cupboard, when you think you ‘need’ to go shopping. Also, I’m partial to over-estimating the amount of food that our family ‘needs’ to eat of an evening, so rather than throwing any leftovers, I pop them in the fridge, no matter how much is left, and reuse them over the following couple of days.

Getting involved with the kids — here I’m looking to cover items such as baking together, gardening (growing your own veggies), getting them involved with nature, such as raising our caterpillars (yes, I appreciate this isn’t directly food waste related, but there’s a tenuous link and it’s what I love to do :))

Creating a sustainable home — top tips for around the house, mostly food related! Again, referring back to leftovers (you can tell I’m particularly passionate about this subject), did you know that you can actually clean your loo with leftover cola!!

Activities to keep us & our little people entertained & local places to go, especially during the school holidays — there will be a focus on cheap & free to ensure we are in keeping with the budgeting element!

Food Waste Heroes — there are so many people & companies who are a lot more experienced than me (and a lot more focused) in educating the masses about the plight of food waste & I plan to share some of their stories — these may include local businesses, food producers, or just bloomin’ lovely people who have taken it upon themselves to take part in the battle to save food from going in the bin.

So, to wrap up……

This isn’t a blog to try and turn you into a Freegan, or an Eco Warrior (if you want to of course, then that’s ok with me), it’s simply my story on how I plan to make small changes to our family life, which will not only help us, but the local community and, if it catches on, the planet too…

Join us in the journey…