Today is Blog Action Day.
This is the one day, each year, that bloggers the world round get up on their soap boxes to give their views – or someone else's, on a topic of global importance.
The goal is not to convince the rest of the residents of this planet, or even the blogger's own significant other, of the rightness of the expressed opinion.
The goal is to get all of those, or at least, some of those, people talking about the topic.
And, of course, the hope is that the conversation will be intelligent rather than emotional.
This year's topic is Climate Change.
And this is my opinion on Climate Change:
The climate is changing.
Whether you believe it's changing because of the natural life cycle of the earth or because of the contribution of the (and this is also open to discussion) most intelligent life form on said planet, is, really, immaterial.
The climate is changing.
Earth, the planet itself, is not in the least bit of danger. It will survive quite nicely, thank you very much.
It's we humans, and all that we hold dear, that are at risk.
Whether or not we can stem the tide of Global Warming, or Global Cooling when that happens, remains to be seen.
What we can do, should do, and should encourage everyone else to do, is try, to the best of our ability, to keep our planet clean and healthy for us, our children and their children and their children…..
I do love a good soap box…..
So, you ask, what does this all have to do with food – this being a food blog and all….
Well, this being a food blog…. And since good food is my personal raison d'etre….
I thought I'd use my time on the soap box to share some of my practices that, I hope, contribute to the health of our planet…. Or, at the very least, don't exacerbate the problems.
I'll leave it to the other bloggers to talk about cars, pollution, fuel, methane, and all that other stuff.
Here, out in the middle of French nowhere, we do what we can in our, albeit small, way.
1. Take your own bags to the markets and stores.
Yeah, I know you know. It's a no brainer. Everyone talks about it. Lots of people have the bags and some have even done it once or twice. Do it all the time. All the time.
2. Don't cook more than you eat.
Never thought of that one, either, did you? Do you regularly fix 1 cup of rice (because it's easy) then put the leftover bit in the fridge to mature for a few days before you throw it out?
Fix 3/4 cup, or 2/3 cup or 5/8 cup…. Whatever. Figure it out and fix what you'll eat – even if (OMG!) it's not quite enough.
Every little bit of rice that you don't throw out doesn't have to be produced, harvested, shipped, hauled, packaged, and sold. Not to mention fertilized and watered.
Multiply that by every little bit of food you throw out….
What the heck, you'll save money, too.
3. Encourage restaurants to serve reasonable portions
The custom of serving huge portions with the expectation that people will take them home is ridiculous. Get a proper portion at a proper price. When I am in the US, that excess food goes to waste as I have no place to 'take it home' to. Me and all the other people traveling in the US. Think of how much food American restaurants throw out every day! Or you throw out 8 days later when you realize that you forgot to eat it.
4. Don't throw out or compost what you grow. Compost the waste, not the food.
We all know the problem of the never-ending zucchini. They grow faster than we can pick, let alone eat. But why throw out perfectly good food? That you watered and fertilized? Freeze it. Wait a few months and it will taste good again.
Which brings up the next point…
5. Invest in an energy efficient freezer if you can.
I bought a freezer the first year I planted a vegetable garden. No meat has passed through it's doors. No, we are not vegetarians. But this is my vegetable freezer. I freeze everything from my garden that we don't eat. Plus, I buy food in season, when it's cheap, and freeze that, too. And, something that anyone can do, when I buy frozen vegetables I buy them in big bags, not little vacuum sealed bags in cardboard boxes. Less packaging on the end product means less production in getting it to you.
Which brings me to my final tip:
6 Buy in bulk
Take your own containers, fill them with bulk food. It's cheaper. It's healthier for the planet.
No place to store it all? Store it in that freezer you just bought. Coffee, flour, grains…. They'll all keep longer, allowing you to buy in bulk without letting it go to waste. Kind of circular, isn't it?
And now, the confession: I draw the line at the ultimate 'original packaging. Today, at the supermarket (not the local butcher's, the supermarket) they had, recently dead but still with gleaming coats, rabbits and partridges. I draw the line at buying my meat at the supermarket, then taking it home to skin or pluck.
Although, we could use some new feathers for our pillows……
But I would not know how to treat the rabbit skin.
And, as you may have guessed…. I really hate waste!
What does all this have to do with Climate Change?
If we all adopt a more careful and thoughtful approach to our food it will, eventually, work it's way up to the producers, growers and packagers.
If we all do nothing…..