World Food Day

Harvest South Uist
Harvest South Uist style

United Nations days of… come and go and I admit most pass me by unnoticed, although I can usually manage a cheer for International Womens Day. It is frequently observed that I have a “bee in my bonnet” infact there is usually a whole hive tucked under my woolly hat. World Food Day got a few of these bees buzzing: local food, seasonal food, sustainable agriculture and food waste. In fact they buzzed around my head on Tuesday afternoon as I weeded the veg plot, along with some of the real ones which were feeding on the broccoli flowers.
Several hours later I was left with the usual imponderables – why

  • is one third of all food production wasted
  • do consumers in rich countries waste almost as much food as the entire net food production of sub-Saharan Africa
  • do more than 100 million more people across the world suffer from hunger due to recent food price rises
  • do one in eight people not have enough food?

Trying to change the world is like whispering in a hurricane, I can’t change the world, but I can exercise my power of choice, manage my croft sustainably, grow fruit and vegetables and bore as many people as possible on the subject. So to celebrate World Food Day, I

  • made some soup using mushrooms which were perfectly ok but had reached their best before  date and were half-price, so I bought all 2kg to save waste (Best before date another bête noire)
  • made stuffed pancakes for dinner, using vegetables from the garden and the surplus sourdough starter culture
  • made a cake – well it was a celebration.

I can tell that you’re not exactly impressed as this is what I do all the time – but then food is a thread that runs through my everyday life whether it is growing vegetables, cooking  or indeed eating. Food is for sharing, enjoying and most certainly not for wasting, so I’m posting my recipes for mushroom soup and sourdough pancakes in the croft kitchen.

10 thoughts on “World Food Day

  1. But we ARE impressed that this is what you do all the time – and please have as many bees in your bonnet as you like about this big food issue. Regardless of the bigger picture we can make our own contribution in the ways you have suggested – but we do need to prod and remind ourselves, so thank you for your example. In my meditation group we always send healing to the wider world and I have every confidence in the increased beefits of doing this as a group – resolving these food imponderables would go a long way to bringing global healing.

    • Thank you Cathy – but you shouldn’t encourage me to let the bees out! OK so I can’t fight the speculators and the multinational corporations but I can do something about food waste and local food issues. If more people began to whisper then it would be a shout and a little foot stamping wouldn’t go amiss either.
      I’m weeding the veg patch today, so I’ll ask my buzzing bees to be less agitated and send out a soothing hum.

  2. I’m impressed – little things can make a big difference, and have a habit of spreading – and I agree with you 100%. I’d managed to miss World Food Day, as I slogging away (ironically enough) on recipes for a healthy diet book. But I’ve been avoiding waste all the same – my freezers are full.

    • Nice project – don’t forget to tell us all about it when it’s finished.
      I was fairly certain that my blog followers would all have similar views, but there is always a chance that it might just inspire someone to have a little think.

  3. I missed the fact that it was World Food Day, but I’ve recently been boring my students on the subject of food. We are focusing on migration as a key topic in the course and recently had a photography exhibit and a panel discussion by the immigrant farm workers in our local community. In the United States, wasting food seems to be part of a cultural focus on cheap, abundant food. (It’s not just coincidence that Americans created such cheap, fast food items as the Whopper, the Big Mac and the Big Gulp!) My students also noted that we are trained not to think about how our food is produced and harvested (by whom and at what wages?). As an educator, I’m committed to the proposition that awareness is the first step toward change, so I hope to have made a little dent here.

    • Hi Jean, it is so easy to miss these Un Special days, I only discovered this one because it was on the daily, morning farming radio programme. We need more people like you in education. Generations since the World War II have been seduced by cheap and abundant food produced by industrialisation and not considered the cost. So perhaps if we educate the young it may not be too late for their health and our planet.

  4. Chris – putting all these comments together, how does the idea of collaborating on putting together a book of recipes using left-overs sound? I daresay it has been done before, but it would be another way of making a contribution ourselves and educating others. If not a book, a blog or website – what do you think?

    • Food for thought. I’ll be in contact via e-mail.

  5. Hi Chris
    Awareness is always a first step. Second is a contribution, which you have done. True – it’s hard to change the world but each of us in our own small way, can try. Thanks for the new recipes! I’m always on the look-out for new ones to try!!

    • “Never depend upon institutions or government to solve any problem. All social movements are founded by, guided by, motivated and seen through by the passion of individuals. ”
      ― Margaret Mead
      I’m pleased you’re enjoying the recipes – there is nothing like a new recipe to inspire the day.

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