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20 September 2009

Food, Family & Frugality.

Lately I've been distracted, not by beautiful beads for a change, but by food & family life, I find myself thinking more about my growing children, our health as a family, standards of living, money(or lack of it, maternity leave takes a lot out of your budget), our impact on the environment & the example we, as parents are setting for our children.

These are some unpalatable facts for you, that stick in my mind.

* The average household throws away between £15,000-£24,000 in a lifetime about £610 per household each year, more if you have 4plus people in your home, but it's still the same if you're a single household due to supermarkets not taking into account single person portions.
* Food waste is increasing at a rate of 15% every decade.

* Of the
6.7tonnes of food thrown away every year in the UK 4.1 million tonnes is unopened & untouched. Of this, 340,000tonnes is still 'in date'.
This is largely due to a lack of meal planning, but also or over supply, 1.2 million tonnes of waste is just the leftovers on our plates.

* Around 20% of our climate change emissions are related to the production, processing, transportation and storage of food, but we are throwing away a third of all the food we buy.

* When disposed of in landfill, food waste releases Methane ,a relatively damaging greenhouse gas
, and Leachate, a toxin capable of considerable groundwater pollution.

These leave me with an uneasy feeling that although the recession we've being trudging through has been horrible for
some, it may be an eyeopener for other households about their consumption, & help them make better choices for their family's that would have otherwise never have occurred to them.

So my first decision was to make a bigger effort to plan out our meals, & therefore our weekly shop should be easier to budget & cut out wastage. I'd had these beautiful meal planner sheets designed by Futuregirl (and free to download) hanging around my kitchen for a while, but was stuck at the thought of organising meals to include a 3year old & 10 month, it didn't seem that easy to make food suitable for all, or to plan meals giving usable leftovers.

Then I was given the Complete Family Meal Planner by Annabel Karmel, now I'm not a bad meal mum but do get stuck in a rut for exciting food to feed my children that maybe Hubby & I would also enjoy. This book is full of ideas, and whats more they are quick, simple, healthy and inexpensive to make.
Using this book & some old favorites such as The New English Kitchen(great for leftover planning) I now have my first plan of action. I'll be adding family/home hints and tips all week, feel free to add your own I'll be interested in reading them, and any recipes will be gratefully received I may even review them here.

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