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Waste Not Want Not

“The best motto is not to waste things” Sir David Attenborough, Seven Worlds, One Planet BBC.

When I was a child (I’m not even that old) I remember going into the local butchers and seeing carcasses hanging up, and meat in the window.  My mother would order what she needed, take it home and cook it.  I remember very little food waste, especially from meat.

These days our faster pace of life means we have become conditioned to buy little trays meat that stack neatly in our fridge from supermarkets to make a quick meal. We are then left with plastic trays that are hard to recycle and often thick wet liners that can only go to landfill.  Although the products have to follow strict labelling guidelines, we are still distanced from where that meat has come from, leading to us not valuing it as much as we should. The issue of food waste is a rising one, according to the Boston Consulting group, food waste is set to rise by one third by 2030.  Not only is our faster pace of life fueling this, but also the dissociation about where our food comes from sometimes means it isn’t treated with the respect it deserves, cheaper faster food that hides us from the actual animal. In the UK alone it is reported that we throw away 10.2 million tonnes of food each year, equating to £840 per average family of 4 (Source Which.co.uk) . This is shocking, not only with the greenhouse emissions post waste, but also those used to produce the food have also been wasted.  We all need to play our role in cutting waste overall.

One of our aims at Pembrokeshire Lamb is to promote a sustainable lifestyle and that includes using as much of the animal as possible, from the fast tender cuts of meat to the slower roasts, slow cooks etc the list is endless.  With a little forward planning it is possible to even batch cook much of your meat box to go in the freezer for quick, nutritious mid week meals.  Even the bones have a use.  I lay them on a roasting tray and place in a hot oven for 40ish minutes or until browned then tip into a very large sauce pan (juices too), with some onion, carrots or any other sorry looking veg in the bottom of the fridge.  Cover with water, season and simmer for several hours.  Skim the foam occasionally, and there you have a lovely brown stock for stews, gravy and soups.

Mutton-Taster-Meat-Box-Pembrokeshire-Lamb

 

Shopping locally and seasonally is a good way of reducing food miles and often your local farmers market or greengrocer (if you are lucky enough to have one) should work out more economical and with less plastic waste too.

The wool from our sheep is sold to the British wool marketing board (BWMB) in the summer. We then purchase the lower grade wool back in the form of Woolcool™ insulated liners. This wool would have in the past ended in landfill, but because Wool is 50% carbon, which has been captured mainly from the atmosphere it is very wasteful to do this. 1kg of clean wool equates to 1.8kg of C0₂ -e .

https://www.iwto.org/sites/default/files/files/iwto_resource/file/Green%20Wool%20Facts_April%202014.pdf

Woolcool™ liners have many uses too, firstly if they are clean we will take them back to reuse, but they can be used in the garden as mulch, slug deterrents and pot insulators.  Protective packaging, craft and even repurposed as a cat bed are some of the solutions I have heard.

By wrapping our fresh meat in paper means plastic vacuum packaging is not used, proving the paper is clean (it will rinse) it can be recycled at the kerbside.  There is less blood and juices when paper wrapped too, this is the way butchers have been doing it for years and  we also have the luxury of refrigerators and freezers, so meat can be preserved for longer.

I sometimes find it therapeutic to set aside a Sunday morning to batch cook a selection of meals, cool them and place in the freezer for the upcoming busy weeks. When food is lovingly prepared, it is less likely to end up in the food waste bin.

Leftovers is another area that many shy away from, providing food is cooled and chilled correctly then there is no need to waste food from the night before.  Cold meats for lunch boxes or even creating a shepherds pie with left overs from the roast dinner.  The options are endless.  If all else fails please offer the food to someone else, maybe you have an elderly neighbor who would love a hot meal?  The olio food sharing app is great too.  Please please follow good food hygiene guides though.

Our sheep are cared from birth to box and the worst thing we can do is not respect and waste the end products.

Please spare a few minutes to read this article by which, it is a real eyeopener. https://www.which.co.uk/news/2019/06/three-food-waste-facts-everyone-needs-to-know/