Ten Pound Food Challenge

Ten Pound Food Challenge

Too much food

There are air miles, car miles, train miles, just miles and miles of delivery to ensure you have the food you want when you want it. 

Aside from the manufacturing and the carbon through deliveries there is also the issue of where does it go once you chuck it out? There are entire systems in place to deal with your food waste, the food you decided wasn’t good enough for your consumption. We buy too much because we have access to it. We are incredibly privileged to be able to just walk into a supermarket and pretty much buy any food we desire without a thought to how it got there or who slaved away making that possible for us.

It is quite a sobering thought when you start to think about how your food got to you. But no one really knows what happens to it once we are done with it. The council come and pick it up and take it away. Some of this ends up sealed in landfill and will not decompose as there will be no air, some of it maybe turned into viable compost – either way it is unmanageable because the tonnes of food we waste each year as a nation is currently a staggering 10 million tonnes. When there are people going hungry and the use of food banks have increased in our country this is absurd and embarrassing.

Annual Ten Pound Food Challenge

Every year we do a ten pound food challenge that we started about 4 years ago. Most of our followers are UK based and a large percentage of them are local so this is our way of highlighting these issues close to home. Communities thrive when they work together. Should your cupboard and food waste bin be bursting and your neighbours be empty when there is 10 million tonnes of food going to waste?

This isn’t about feeling guilt or depriving yourself when you have the funds to buy food this is about awareness and hopefully it will help you make better choices with your own food buying decisions. This will enable you to create less food waste and you will no doubt save a few pounds too.

Why January?

We do this in January for a couple of reasons. The main reason is after the excess that is Christmas we don’t feel the need to overload ourselves with extra foods or goods. It is also a good time to use up what you have in the cupboards. You will find extras you forgot you have. I just found almost an entire batterburg. I added one to our shop pre Christmas because I love battenberg and its about the only food product aside from cheese that I buy in plastic. The one I bought pre Christmas is still whole in its wrapper and in date. But, I just found ¾ of a battenburg in a tin on top of the fridge. Checking what you have will help you cut down your waste. Although in this instance it won’t get wasted, its still edible. Or at least I think it is, its probably out of date as the sealed one says the 12th of Jan on it. Maybe we could make batterburg bread and butter pudding or something?

This is also the time of year when you will have leftovers from Christmas. We always buy too much, even now when we are more aware. We’ve just got better at using it all up. Our last food shop was Saturday the 19th December. This week we didn’t go to the market or Tescos, we just had our milk delivery of 3 pints.

Let’s get started

Over the next few weeks we will be aiming to only spend £10 each week to top up what we have already. We will aim to buy foods that can be versatile, foods that keep well and come up with ways to use as much as that food product as possible.

We will be posting our progress and ideas out on social media, you can follow us on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. The hashtag is #tenpoundfoodchallenge. Feel free to join in and add your own achievements and add in the hashtag. To clarify this is not about starving yourself to achieve £10 a week. £10 suits us, we are only two people and a cat. For a larger family you might need to increase it to £20-£25 / approx £5 per head.

As we are already a week into January you may have already done a shop. Here are a few things that can help you assess what food you actually eat.

How to start….

  1. Pick a cupboard and go through it. Throw out out of date food. Don’t replace it yet.
  2. Go shopping with a list. You may still pick up a few things randomly but having a list will at least remind you of what you need
  3. Make a mental note of how many food waste bags you put out for collection this week. This is your starting point. 
  4. Are there other ways your food can be used if not fit for human consumption? Do you have a compost in the garden? Could you get one?
  5. Is there anything you could feed the birds? We regularly leave out bits of food in our garden and we’ve seen a lot more wildlife this year. Robins. Magpies. Thrush and Chaffinch.

If you regularly have left overs you can put them to good use by making soup, casserole, rissoles and bubble and squeak.

For food ideas, basic recipes and our progress you can follow us on @nowasteliving on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.