I’m just about finished with Day Three of eating for £1 a day. I am starting to get into the flow of how this all works. The eating itself is actually getting easier, but two things I’ve noticed which are different than my typical routine:
- How much I think about food. At night I think about what my next day’s meals will be. The next morning, I have to remember to bring my Tupperware of lunch with me in the morning. At lunch and during the afternoon, I think about what I am going to make for dinner. And every once in a while, I worry that I will run out of food before the week is over — not a nice feeling.
- How much time I spend actually making food. Cooking two meals a day (breakfast and dinner) takes a lot more time than I remembered. Having gotten out of the habit of cooking so often during the week, I find myself consciously rearranging plans to make sure I can be home in time to eat. I even skipped an after-work lecture tonight because of it.
As for meals, I had a good breakfast of porridge and a frozen banana which I’d stuck in the freezer on Sunday because they were already getting too ripe (You could buy twice as many ripe bananas for the same price). And for lunch, I had more leftovers of my lentil and rice concoction.
Dinner was, again, surprisingly good. I ended up straining the last bits of lentil stew along with my remaining half tin of baked beans in order to separate the beans from the liquids. Once the liquid was separated, I took leftover boiled potatoes from Tuesday’s dinner and mashed all of the solids up together into two vegetarian patties.
I dry-fried the bean patties and warmed up the sauce and some frozen mixed vegetables. It was actually really good and cost less than 50p to make.
Role of Technology
My broader reflection for today is on the role of technology in helping us eat well. I used my freezer to keep my bananas from spoiling, I used my refrigerator to store my leftover lentils, I transported my lunch in plastic Tupperware (which was reheated in a microwave) , and I crisped up my bean patties on a non-stick pan (to avoid the cost of expensive cooking oil).
We forget how much of a role technology plays in our food storage, transport and preparation. For many farmers in the developing world, this is not their reality. While we waste about a third of our food (yes, a third) as consumer waste, farmers in developing countries lose between 5 -30% due to poor or non-existing storage and transport in what is called “post-harvest losses“. In other words, they bag up their maize (or whatever other crop they’ve grown) after harvest, but it gets attacked by pests and diseases like rats or molds before it can get eaten. Or there’s no good road to transport the crops to markets so it spoils before it can be sold. In my view, this is one of the most important and challenging problems that the agricultural world should address (perhaps second only to increasing agricultural productivity).
Thank you, Tupperware, non-stick pan, refrigerator and freezer and, yes, even the microwave.