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:
- Observe and reflect on your own food buying and consumption, and understand how and why you have reached your current food choices.
- 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
- 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.
- 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
- Implement your design (using a timeline/steps/stages if useful)
- 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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…
Sourced 23.02.14 Growing Communities website (hyperlinked on image)