Monday, 4 February 2008

Love Food Groups begin

What better way could there be to start the West Sussex WI Love Food Champions’ Group than to sit down together to eat?
Six non-WI members joined me on Friday 1st February for our first meeting. I think we were all a little apprehensive as to what the evening would be like; not everyone had met before but one thing they wanted to know was how they could reduce food waste in their home.

To get the evening off to a “food” start everyone was asked to say something about themselves and food.
Here are some of the comments –
"I love food and eat too much."
"I don’t really like food. I enjoy cooking but don’t always want to eat it when I do."
" I love cooking but I eat late and too much."
"I do 95% of the cooking and my husband is a trained chef."
"I love eating, I am a good cook and I can’t stand waste."
"I am a diabetic and need to eat regularly; I don’t like veg and love sugary things."

I said – “I love cooking and get great pleasure in feeding people” and with that we tucked into a pasta bake!

With their Love Food Champions’ Workbook for reference we discussed various aspects of food shopping. Most of the group made a comprehensive shopping list before setting out on their weekly, some twice weekly shop.

Moving on to the topic of special offers and “buy one get one free” one participant told us she shares these with her mother as they often meet in the super market when doing their weekly shop.

We talked about how often we shop –
One participant said her husband does the shopping early on Saturday morning armed with a well prepared shopping list also often taking with him their son who is almost 4 while she stays at home with the twins who are just 2.

Another participant stated she shops after work when she have decided what she wants to eat. She feels she probably wastes more food than anyone else in the group.

We had a long discussion on understanding the date marks and how one could interpret them and being confident about making the right decision. The group then moved on to the subject of eggs – how did you know if they had “gone off”, what happened when they got past their sell-by date? What are the advantages of free range against economy eggs and the differing cost of eggs?

Everyone agreed that our family backgrounds and especially our mothers had a huge influence on the way we shopped and planned our menus. Not being quite as rigid as our mothers were, having roast on Sunday, cold meat with bubble and squeak on Monday, egg and chips Tuesday etc. but this certainly had an affect on the way we plan our meals and do our food shopping.

To round off the evening each wrote down which particular food they felt they wasted most and the papers were selected at random for the group to discuss how these could be used. There was quite a selection including cheese, bread, melon (this was a difficult one), hummus and crème fraiche and they used their Kitchen Journal to write in hints and tips from the session.

We kept to the 2 hour limit we had set ourselves – we could have gone on a lot longer! - with instructions on how to use their Kitchen Caddie and with their Love Food Champions’ Workbook and Kitchen Journal everyone departed for home inspired to reduce their food waste and to check their cupboards, fridges and freezers when making out their shopping lists.

I would like to thank my group for agreeing to become WI Love Food Champions and I look forward to our next meeting on the 29th February when we will be talking about portion size and meal planning.

Janice Langley

No comments: