Italian diet, food waste and better food practice

The last decade, as a direct result of austerity measures, the Italian diet has seen a marked change.

An increase in pasta and rice, a marked decrease in meat, fish, cheese, fruit and vegetables.

More Italians are now eating at home and preparing their own meals. A third of Italians now bake their own bread and pizzas.

An artisan loaf of bread in Milan costs 4-5 euros.

One baker has reported a 50% drop in business.

Less waste, leftovers are being recycled into the next meal.

As a child, I remember, roast dinner on a Sunday, then on the Monday, cold meat, left over potatoes fried.

We have become too accustomed to cheap food, though in reality, there is no such thing as cheap food, we simply externalise the costs.

Supermarkets encourage waste. When Waitrose offers a bag of peas at a highly inflated price of £2-99 and on special offer two bags for £3-00, we know something is wrong, very wrong.

As the cost of food rises, real wages fall, maybe once again, we will learn to appreciate food.

Latest cookbook from Jamie Oliver, is Save with Jamie, how to cook simply, cheaply, how not to waste food. Only problem is the book has a cover price of £26.

In Italy cookbooks by Jamie Oliver, including, to my amusement, Italian cooking.

It is scandalous when fake indie coffee shop Harris + Hoole aka Tesco, throws out perfectly good food at the end of the day.

Gleaning was a mediaeval practice, farmers left corners of their fields for the poor to glean. Modern day gleaners pick and take away for what the farmer has no market.

Parish churches, often have parish halls with excellent kitchens and excellent cooks. Why do they not once a week, arrange for waste food to be collected, meals knocked out to show what can be achieved? The meals are free (with a donation to that week’s good cause) and trainees learn from the cooks.

Indie coffee shops are offering ‘suspended coffee‘, an act of random kindness, one person offers a coffee, some else collects. This could be extended, at the greengrocer, a ‘suspended banana’. Maybe with the help of volunteers, one day a week, they put on a meal put together from donated food waste, or maybe once a month in rotation with other indie coffee shops. Restaurants could do they same eat lunch time if they usually only opened in the evening.

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