The other day when I went to the supermarket, an elderly man came up to me when I was looking through the reduced price food section and asked if I needed money. Once I recovered from the shock of the man’s forthrightness, I told him no and explained to him that I don’t like perfectly edible food to go to waste.
As I got home, the question kept bouncing around in my mind. I felt the man had over stepped the boundaries of what is socially acceptable. Then I thought he might just be curious and this happened in Hampstead after all. Hampstead, if you don’t know is a very posh place in Northwest London, where a lot of rich people live. Perhaps he has not been exposed to many unprivileged people in his grocery store or perhaps he’s a philanthropist with lots of money who was looking for someone to spend it on and I just lost a great opportunity (I have digressed somewhat, but there might be a character in there somewhere).
What I wanted to write about is the increasing concern I have over the state of our planet. For one of the novels I’m writing, I have done extensive research into our global climate problem.
Me hunting the reduced food section for near expiry date food is my small contribution to reducing food waste. 7 million tonnes of food and drink is wasted every year from UK households. I understand the need for an expiration/best before date etc. on our food. We don’t want anyone to get ill, but there is also a part of me that can’t walk past food that is about the get chucked in the bin, when it is still perfectly edible. At this particular day I found some minced meat with the same day expiration, that still looked good and a bag of lettuce with some wilted leaves. Because I cook a lot of mince I knew I would eventually use it so put it straight in the freezer when I came home and the lettuce I paired with some cucumber I already had at home to make a simple salad for dinner. By using the things I knew I had in the fridge and planned ahead for things I could do in the next couple of weeks I have saved some food from the rubbish bin.
The novel I’m writing, I started two years ago during NaNoWriMo and I can’t quite let go of it yet, even though it needs a total transformation to get anywhere near where I want it to be. The theme has pulled me in though and I keep researching about the environmental consequences for our planet of the way we currently live and use our resources.