Once again I am proud to be a zero waste ambassador. Zero waste week is organized by Rae Strauss. Each year there’s a theme. This year it is food waste.
Well you can interpret that how you want and most people have been busy making soup out of peelings and jam from windfalls. Some mighty fine work has been done but I am not to be distracted from my area of interest and, (not surprisingly), the food waste that really annoys me is plastic packaging. So my zero waste week has been a celebration of loose and unwrapped food.
Plastic Free Food
Plastic free food is food that is unwrapped but for me it also includes
- Tetra Paks (paper foil & plastic lined).
- Glass bottles and jars with plastic lined metal lids
- Tin cans of food – they are nearly all plastic lined
- Plastic coated paper and foil – a tricky one often hard to spot.
- The plastic bag in the cardboard box squeeze and listen for the rustle.
- Teabags (Packaging aside), the bag itself contains plastic
And we will buy all our food….
Now many people think you cannot be plastic free and shop from supermarkets. I agree it is not easy
And let me say right now I don’t like supermarkets. They are killing off the local shops and take money out of the community. But for many people they are the only option. Because they have killed off local shops. Vicious circle. But this is about plastic-free food NOT supermarket politics so I am going to prove that you can eat plasticless and shop at supermarkets.
How to do it…
If prepared to eat seasonally, traditionally (think meat and two veg with spuds), and cook from scratch, supermarkets if they are big enough to have meat and fish counters can supply you with a fair variety of food. If you are depending on Tesco Express you are going to go hungry.
Bring Your Own Bags
You will also need to take your own packaging. Check out the plastic-free shopping kit here.
Ingredients for a week
I got an a big sack of unpackaged fruit & veg from Tesco,
It included leeks, potatoes, onions, carrots, broccoli, courgettes, peppers. apples, a melon, mushrooms and bananas.
Apart from the peppers (Holland), and Melon (Spain), and bananas (forgot to look), it was all grown in the U.K.
I got loose ginger and garlic from Tesco. The chiles I bought a while ago from the Asian shop but I have seen them loose in Morrisons.
Eggs & oats in a cardboard box.
Back to Tesco’s for lard in paper. Sainsbury’s and the Co-op do butter in paper.
Meat and fish can be bought unpackaged from the counters but I ask that they use our own compostable biobags.
The brown rice I bought loose from Wholefood market sometime ago. White rice can be bought in a box from Lidles.
We also get some cheddar cheese from Tesco. It was cut off the (plastic – wrapped) block but wrapped in our own packaging. The plastic is not in our bin. You can read up on how we feel about this, here.
You can get bread rolls loose from Tesco but I don’t like them much, the co-ops are much better. Lidles and Waitrose do loose loaves of bread. Almost everywhere does croissants. I also used my bread machine and plastic wrapped dried yeast.
More information on all of the above can be found here…
Non Supermarket Beverages
Drinks were tea and coffee which you can’t get plastic free at the supermarket. Milk was from the milkman. Read on…
Fizzy drinks were carbonated water made with the sodastream mixed with homemade ginger and lemon syrup.Read on…
Meals For the Week
- Porridge with bananas
- Toast and butter
- Croissants and fruit
- Omelette and other forms of egg
- Butties from the shop
- Butties made at home
- Veg soup – anything that is looking a bit sad and needs eating up thickened with potatoes. I would prefer to use lentils but I cannot get them .
Day One Stir Fry left over steak from Sunday, lots of veg in a spicy tomato sauce served with rice.
Day Two Roast chicken and veg with home made gravy from chicken juices and flour. Wine (plastic lined screw top), was added.
Day Three a rich and meaty stew made with stewing steak served with boiled potatoes. Meat and veg were from Tesco’s.
Day Four Bangers and mash made with Tesco’s chippolata sausages – the only ones they had loose.
Day Five Mushrooms and peppers were added to the left over day three stew to make a rich goulash that was served with rice.
Day Six Bacon ribs from Stockport Market – yes I know its not a supermarket but I felt so sorry for them. Stockport Market used to be huge spreading across the square and down the side streets. Now there are hardly any stalls outside. The indoor market was open for business but there were not many shoppers. I bought some meat, veg and loose sweets. Such a shame.
Day Seven pork from Tesco’s used in a stir fry made with coconut powder that is not plastic free. It comes in a plastic sachet. BUT I made my own noodles. First time ever. So easy!
Trying to go plastic-free – try the plastic is rubbish support group.
Products you can buy plastic free from supermarkets. because sometimes we have to shop there .
A list of shops selling loosefood that normally comes plastic packaged ie rice, pasta and salt