Lent begins next week on Ash Wednesday, 1st March. Traditionally Christians used to give up rich foods such as butter, eggs and fats during this time to commemorate the 40 days and nights that Jesus spent fasting in the wilderness, resisting temptation. In order to use up all of the forbidden foods, Churchgoers would make pancakes on Shrove Tuesday. In a rather different approach, nowadays I am more likely to stock up on extra food for Pancake Day, eat the pancakes and then not give up the food for Lent (well I never eat eggs anyway!). This does however show how our attitudes to food have changed.
Although I’m not religious I do like to observe Lent and give up something useful that makes a positive change. For example, before I was fully vegan, I once gave up dairy products during Lent (I was already vegetarian) and I’m sure this period helped me prepare for when I eventually made my final lifestyle choice after Veganuary last year. In the past I’ve also given up chocolate and alcohol at this time of year too. So, if you have a habit that you want to break, Lent is a great time to consider “giving it up”.
Give Up Binning Food for Lent?
This year I’m planning to give up wasting food for the forty days (and beyond I hope!) with help from the Love Food Hate Waste Lent Campaign. LFHW will issue 40 tips to help people stop throwing out food unnecessarily. Each week I will update how I’m getting on with the challenge and offer more inspiration for the week ahead.
“Lent is a perfect opportunity for people to challenge themselves to give up a vice. Our ‘Give Up Binning Food Instead’ campaign encourages people to make a real difference this year. Rather than ditching coffee or chocolate that don’t have lasting change, people can bin their bad kitchen habits instead, saving food, money and the planet, and will also form excellent new habits. Love Food Hate Waste will be sharing 40 great tips and suggestions to inspire people every step of the way.”
–-CAROLINE HUTCHINSON, CAMPAIGN MANAGER FOR WALES, LOVE FOOD HATE WASTE
Why should we give up Food Waste For Lent?
£13 billion of edible food was thrown away from our homes in the UK in 2015. In total 7.3 million tonnes of food was thrown away, which if prevented, would have the environmental benefit of taking one in four cars off the road.
I love food and far prefer to see it on my plate ready to be enjoyed and to give me and my family energy than to be in the food bin (or even worse in a black bin headed for landfill). I’ve found it harder since being a mum to avoid food waste as there are more challenges such as finding out what foods our kids like and what size portions we should be feeding them, so I hope to work on these aspects in the coming weeks.
The Benefits of Giving Up Food Waste
The benefits that I’m looking forward to by giving up food waste are:
- Having tidy, organised food cupboards and fridge.
- Less time spent food shopping.
- Reducing our rubbish (we put our raw peelings into our compost bin and our cooked food waste into our food bin but the less we throw out the better!)
- Trying new recipes and strategies to use up older food.
- Saving money (throwing away food is throwing away money. I hope to avoid this and only buy what I need.)
By giving up binning food, families can expect to save almost £60 a month (or £700 a year) which could be put to much better use!
My first plan of action to prepare myself for reducing food waste will be to meal plan so I only buy the food and ingredients that we really need for the week ahead This will be the subject of next weeks post. In future weeks I will also look at food storage, food portions (what does a real family meal look like?), leftover recipe ideas and the innovative ways that businesses can reduce food waste.
What will you give up for Lent?
Are you still trying to decide what to give up for Lent? Would you consider giving up food waste? If so, as an incentive for joining in I have a fun competition to win your choice of food storage (or composting caddy) from the “Food Storage” section of my shop shown below (click “Show more” to see all items.).
Are you thinking of fasting?
Fasting has great health benefits. Check out these tips for people who want to fast.
How could you reduce your food waste? Join in the Give Up Binning Food Lent Challenge here:
Many thanks to the following Competition Promoters:
– Find the best UK Competitions brought together all in one spot. It’s free and updated daily!