…a post from mummy bean.
Our first ever Green Bean Challenge on the Blog was back in September last year and was all about cutting down on waste. Although it may not be the topic of this month’s Challenge, we are still keen to try to cut down on food waste, so I was intrigued when an article in the Daily Mail by Kirsty Allsopp, caught my eye. I don’t usually read the Daily Mail but this piece caught my eye because it was entitled ‘Why We’ve Fallen Back In Love with Larders.’
The gist of this article, and I am paraphrasing, is that more and more people are looking for houses with traditional larders and Kirsty’s argument was that larders actually cut down on waste, as you can see clearly what you have or haven’t got. Growing up, we had a larder in our kitchen which I remember with fondness. Our family larder was a friendly place with jars full or pulses and grains and tins of family favourites. I remember we rarely wasted anything in our house but was this because of the larder or because my mother was a canny cook and budgeter? There are also larders of my nightmares like the one that had been used to hang game, in a house my father moved into. It looked like a scene from CSI! I’m reminded also of a comment made by Craig Boyack, a regular reader who writes this blog here (you should check it out). He mentioned the dying arts of preserving and smoking food and meat to get the most use out of them. We also try to make and grow our own food where we can, resurrecting the older ways of doing things, such as wine making and salt beef.
We try to use everything up in our fridge and Simply Being Mum and The Frugal Girl do an excellent post each Friday called Food Waste Friday, which shames me into trying harder.
So what do do? I write out menus and use recipe boxes from our local organic veg supplier. I also get inventive with leftovers and I’m flexible with expiry dates, within reason, but there is still an inevitable amount of waste.
So how do you stop things disappearing to the back of the fridge or for that matter the cupboards? I think the only real answer is to buy less and shop locally more often. We’d love to get into the habit of this and it means getting out of the bad habits, the habits that are more convenient. When you have a four month old baby, baying for you attention, online shopping and ready meals are a god send.
Perhaps, in this case, larders really are the best option. Carefully organised supplies kept at the right temperature without the use of electricity. It certainly sounds good but it would me a complete rebuild of our kitchen.
In the absence of a larder, we’ve entered a competition over at Maybush Studios to win a lovely wicker basket and if we win, we promise to use this basket to try out naked shopping and to shop locally! Now there’s a promise!