PGCE Geography Tutor
My challenge
Eat less dairy (already vegetarian), eat local/seasonal food, reduce food waste.

A review of my 30 days of change:


Eat less dairy (I am already vegetarian)

I have been exploring different ways of using pulses to replace cheese as my source of protein. I have always been keen on lentil dahl but have been trying out recipes with chickpeas and borlotti beans. To be honest, I have often been a bit disappointed in terms of taste – many have been bland without the edge that some grated cheddar can give!! Definitely need  to expand my explorations into the use of different herbs and spices …..but also need to be very mindful of the risk of undermining my 2nd goal of eating local/seasonal food – a bit of a minefield negotiating these different elements!


Eat local/seasonal food

In terms of local/seasonal focus – perhaps this has been more challenging due to time of year given that many fruit and veg that I enjoy eating can’t be grown locally without warmer temperatures? ….and one of the ‘solutions’ to this is growing these in greenhouses – which is perfectly fine on a domestic level and which I am resolved to do but needs a longer term plan than our 30 days allows. But when done commercially, involves increased use of energy.  This has prompted a questioning of whether I need to accept that certain items are not to be eaten all year round however much I like to include them in my diet  – blueberries are a good example. This brought up questions about a potential conflict  between what’s considered good for personal  health and this goal of local/seasonality – starting the day with muesli and blueberries is generally considered to be good for a person’s health ….but not for that of the planet?? Just one example – there are others!


Engaging with this issue has  involved trying to unpick food supply chains – and reminded me of a lecture I had attended in Bristol back in the 1990s. It was given by Prof Tim Lang as part of a programme of lectures/seminars run by the Schumacher Society (which is still engaged with grappling with sustainability issues = ) . I then had one of those serendipitous moments when, last week, I spotted a recently published book by Prof Lang  – Feeding Britain: Our Food Problems and How to Fix Them (2020) which I bought and have started to read.


Reduce food waste

My approach to reducing food waste has involved 2 strands – a) buying less and b) making sure that everything bought has been eaten.


a) I have not been at all successful with this despite having the potentially solid strategy of going to a supermarket with a list which is drawn up from a planned menu for the week …but once in the shop I am always tempted to add more to my shopping basket. Occasionally these ‘extras’ are used well, providing a meal and enabling the staples on the list to last longer. However, very often they do not fit into the weekly menu so are left sitting in the fridge until well past their ‘use by’ date ( and how far we should be guided by these is a big debate!!)


b) Relieved to say that I have been much more successful with this! I have discovered useful sources of inspiration egs and