30.12.10

Daily Moan #10: Waste food

There was an item on BBC Breakfast news this morning about this amazing brand spanking new anaerobic digester that could turn your Xmas leftovers into clean Green electricity - and save lots of stuff going into expensive landfill to boot. Great? No! NO! Fair enough if it's using inedible by-products to digest - but what I could see being dumped was edible waste food; sprouts, parsnips, oranges, tomatoes... OK, the tomatoes looked a bit ripe, but... Bob Geldof would be turning in his grave if he were dead. (And they didn't say what happened to all those plastic bags.)

There was another item about Baby Boomers (yes, I'm one, being born in 1947, two years after the war) having it cushy compared with today's young people: no university tuition fees to pay (true), lots of jobs to walk straight into (err, no), it was easier to get on the housing ladder (I still had to lie about my earnings to a mortgage broker when I bought my first house - for £10,000 - yes you could buy it on your credit card nowadays) and generous final-salary pensions to enjoy (definitely not, although working at IPC for five years in the 1970s resulted in a pension, higher than the private one I paid into for 20+ years). We have, however, seen the most change: in music, technology, and in attitudes to things such as consumerism and greed.

One thing a baby boomer would not do is waste food. (Other things we may not do include dropping litter and getting into debt!) We were, and I still am, frugal. We know how to cook and what to do with leftovers, which is to eat them! Nigel Slater knows all about the joy of leftovers. So should you! Don't blame the supermarkets, unrealistic sell-by dates and Thatcher - I like a 2-for-1 BOGOF bargain as much as the next man, and I always make for the 'Reduced to clear' section first. One thing I used to do as a kid was peel potatoes (we even peeled mushrooms in our house). I don't anymore (and Jamie Oliver doesn't even wash his veg), so the barest minimum of waste from food preparation goes into the compost bin. And I always clear my plate. If I bring a Tupperware container to your next dinner party, it's because I can't stand food going to waste. Waste not, want not said the wartime posters. That should be your mantra for 2011.

And if you think I'm a whinger, check out this Aussie article. I don't agree with all of it, and be warned - the Comments section is full of opinionated twats, just like on the Argus website!
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