Food Action Plan #1


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Got any saffron? OK the photo turned out looking a touch yellow under the lights, and well, there was a little saffron accident too. Bloody tasty though…. but enough, this is not a blog post about my dinner.

Well, it sort of is and sort of isn’t… one of our assignments after Day 2 was the following:

Food:

  1. Observe and reflect on your own food buying and consumption, and understand how and why you have reached your current food choices.
  2. Using the Growing Communities ‘food zones’ model, survey where your food comes from and think about what’s been involved in it reaching your plate
  3. Analyse your food buying and consumption using the 3 ethics: evaluate the impact in personal, financial, social & community, ecological, nutritional terms (and any other terms you find useful) to get a bigger picture of your involvement in, and your impact on, food cycles.
  4. Create a design for your own food sourcing and consumption in order to reduce your impact on the local and/or wider environment. Apply a number of the principles, commenting on the benefits of using them. Explain the reasons behind your design decisions
  5. Implement your design (using a timeline/steps/stages if useful)
  6. Review your design before day 10

On day 10, everyone will undertake a short presentation of their incremental design, and practice giving and receiving feedback

Now, I thought this was going to be easy, but I just spent 2 hours finalising my Food Survey from a four day period into a spreadsheet (geek alert) and I think that’s enough for me… enough data to do the Analysis anyway. Here’s what I learned:

  1. I try and buy local and organic and avoid supermarkets. I want my purchasing power to go into the local economy, avoid supporting the global retailers and support organic food production which I personally believe is healthier and among other things, way, WAY tastier.
  2. I want to know where possible where my food has come from. If I buy meat, it is organic. If I buy fish I try and buy as much locally sourced and sustainable as I can – I don’t always get it right and sometimes convenience gets the better of me.
  3. I get a weekly veg box from 12 miles away and supplement this with local veg purchasing from Infinity (cooperative). Also get a local fish box through a sustainable local cooperative when they run a season, but they don’t do this all the time. Even so, I’m not ‘religious’ about purchasing organic, local etc in every item – I’m inconsistent, and allow myself to be with items that I think are ‘unsolvable’… like, I love crisps… the bad ones, from Walkers, not the fancy vegetable chips in the rustic-appeal packets…. I like dirty-saturated-fat-deep-fried-salted crisps. Whatever will I do!
  4. I was surprised at how much of my food came from a really long way away – I’ve just never looked that closely. It’s all very well getting local veg and fish but what if I want seasonings and worldwide flavours. I was disappointed to note how far my chillies had travelled (Kenya) when they’re pretty easy to grow.
  5. Transport in getting food to my plate is a big issue and packaging also really was a stark reminder of just how much plastic there is that goes into landfill.
  6. Overall I think ethically I have good principles and apply them to most food and nearly everything is home cooked. I rarely eat out, I make all my own lunches, I don’t throw food away (what’s left goes to the chicken or the compost) and I try where possible to eat organic, local and sustainable / fairtrade. But I am a hypocrite in some cases and choose to turn a blind eye on things that I love.

That’s it for now – I’m going to revisit this subject and do some deeper analysis and then come up with my design, probably another post…

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Sourced 23.02.14 Growing Communities website (hyperlinked on image)

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