Last May I stopped eating meat. We’d been on holiday and camped at a farm in Dorset. The local restaurant’s menu was limited, and consisted mainly of beef products – which I ate happily. Happily, because I knew the source of the beef was hand-reared on the farm we were staying. For years I have felt conflicted about eating meat – but knowing the origin always helped.
Then when we returned home, I stopped eating meat. Honestly I do not know why. It just felt the right thing to do.
It’s the right thing for me, but I cannot dictate whether it is the right thing for anyone else.
The other members of my family have continued to eat meat, and I continue to prepare the meals for them. After all I ate meat for over 40 years of my life, so getting squeamish about handling it now feels a little hypocritical.
Meat products are a great source of protein and contain many nutrients. I may not eat meat but my varied taste means I can easily find alternatives to replace the lacking protein in any dish. For my children it isn’t so easy.
As I continue to buy meat, I am even more vigilant about where I buy it from and what I buy – this includes the quantity I buy.
One way to ensure I only buy what will be used and thus reduce potential waste, is not to buy pre-packaged quantities.
And as I am also keen to reduce the plastic waste I produce, buy buying local and from the butchers counter I can even take my own reusable glass (Pyrex) containers.
By doing this I am taking small but effective steps to reducing the meat and plastic that we waste here.
It may seem a drop in the ocean, but every slight improvement has value.
Just because you do not do something ‘perfectly’ does not mean you shouldn’t do what you can.
I shop local when I can and support local business – maybe I pay a little more but that’s okay, it’s very likely I’m also buying a little less. This means I’m consuming less, wasting less yet investing more in the community.
(billboard at Essington Farm – not sponsored)
There are still a lot of products I tend to buy from large retailers – these products may not be found at smaller shops or it’s a specific type or brand of product that someone wants. These tend to be pre-packaged products such as cereals etc…
I am looking at reducing my spend on such products, but it’s one step at a time – too much too soon and it becomes a chore and hard work to sustain. It’s a balance living a semi-suburban life and also trying to move toward a more conscious existence. There is more of that to come – this is a subject I’m keen on exploring further.
Please do consider using the hashtag #foodwastefriday if you are joining in the less waste conversation today – it helps us all find one another on social media 🙂