Sunday, May 11, 2008

Two million bananas????

I had the strangest experience the other day. I popped into a local village shop a few miles away and noticed that in the fruit and veg section, the only bananas on display were green ones. There were a dozen really ripe ones in a box on the floor to be thrown away. I couldn’t believe it!

I put them in my basket and when I went to pay for my goods the assistant said I couldn’t have them because they were rotten. “Er, no they are not. They’re ripe. Beautifully sweet in smoothies” I said. She was adamant that she’d take them away and get me some from the shelf. “Um, NO..they’re green. I don’t want them I want these”. She was beside herself.

A short time after leaving the shop I heard on the radio the ongoing debate about how much stuff Britons throw out each week. Among *our* rubbish were 2 million bananas. My bet is that most of those bananas COULD have been used…in smoothies, icecreams, cakes…all sorts of things!

Apparently we throw out a third of our food each week. Not in this house we don’t! I’m intrigued as to what people throw out and can only assume that it is processed stuff with use-by dates.

As my family’s diet relies on fresh fruit and vegetables there isn’t anything to throw out! We buy our seeds, nuts, etc., in bulk through Suma, the wholefood co-operative. Such things have quite a long shelf life so there’s no problem about getting through them.

I started buying organic food consistently about nine years ago. I do believe that, because organic stuff is more expensive than chemically grown food, I have an attitude of reverence for the meals we eat. I simply wouldn’t pay good money for food and then throw it out. I’m not that insane!

I’ve spent years growing vegetables and because I know how much time they take to grow, and the nurturing required to yield a good crop, again, I simply wouldn’t take any fruit or vegetable for granted.

The disposal mentality of our culture is widespread. We throw out food, nappies, formula milk tins…and the list goes on. We’ve a lot to learn from indigenous cultures about having an eco-consciousness.

No comments: