Wednesday, 23 March 2016

25 Things I've Learned by my 26th Birthday

As I no longer fit into the early 20's category, I find myself qualified to share the wisdom of my youth. Here are the musings of a mid-to- late 20 something:
  1. Check your privilege before you wreck your privilege
  2. Laughter is the best medicine, make others laugh and become a healer. 
  3. Money is for giving away and saving for vacations. 
  4. "You don't need a silver fork to eat good food" Paul Prudhomme 
  5. It's ok to be messy, I've spent too much time stressing about messes that I now embrace as exemplifying a life well lived. 
  6. It's pretty hard to look sexy while eating a salad...
  7. If you don't like you situation in life, change it! Complaining does good for no one.
  8. Embrace change, it's the only way to move forward.
  9. "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results"- Albert Einstein 
  10. Waste is just unacceptable in todays world, value every resources as precious. 
  11. Go at your own pace, you define what is right for you. Take a month to read a book, take a two hour lunch, take a year or two off!
  12.  Live within your means, don't spend money you don't have, debt is the worst. 
  13. Always wear clean underwear...if your going to wear any at all
  14. I am perfectly happy being perfectly average, my new standard for sustainability. 
  15. "Do not speak unless you can improve the silence" Baroness Rodmilla De Ghent, Ever After 
  16. Do what makes you happy and what will make others happy in the future.
  17. Respect yours elders, and spend a much time learning from them as you can.
  18. Stop trying to fit in when you were born to stand out. There is no normal. 
  19. "To all the girls who think you're fat because you're not a size zero. You are beautiful, it is society that is ugly." Marilyn Monroe
  20. Food is essential to life, therefore make it good. 
  21. Do not measure your self worth in Facebook likes. 
  22. “My weaknesses have always been food and men — in that order.” - Dolly Parton
  23. If you can't kill it yourself, don't eat it. 
  24. You can do and achieve anything you put your mind to, I'm graduating University after all!
  25. 'Live simply so that others may simply live.'- Mahatma Gandhi
Have a lovely day,

XX Melanie 

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Freeganism or Veganism?

Since eating locally has no longer been compulsory in my life after completing my year long challenge, I have been experimenting with how I eat. At times I could be considered vegan. I don't eat meat, cut out eggs and dairy and eat way too many carbs. At times I think I am more vegetarian, opting to buy eggs from a local farmer or cheese when I've met the cow (or goat). Always I am a locavore, choosing to buy local whenever possible and choosing not to buy at all when it is not.

Leftover Ice Cream at the UFM
I do, however, have a confession to make. I've been a vegetarian for 14 years, but last month I ate bacon... and I'm kind of ok with it (after I stopped being violently ill). I know, crazy right! I'm not slipping off the veggie wagon or anything but I am evolving my diet slightly to include meat and dairy. Instead of centering my diet around what I won't eat or where I won't eat I've decided to include food waste reduction as a priority.
Think about all that extra energy that goes into the production of meat. Even though it is the smallest representation of food waste, it is also responsible for the highest emissions (read more here). And after all that goes into its production, from calf to cattle to butcher to processing, can you still justify throwing it out? I am having a battle with my morals on this one, seriously. But I have tried to look at it as an overall goal of reducing harm to the world. I am not creating demand for meat, I am not participating in the production of meat or advocating on its behalf. I am rescuing food that is destined for the garbage bin. Ensuring that at the end of its life cycle the final product was being used for its intended purpose and not contributing to more harm by rotting away in a landfill.

When I chance upon food waste I can be freegan, eating whatever is bound for the bin, be it animal, vegetable or mineral. Just to be clear, I am not going to go on record as a meat eater because, gross. But I am admitting to dumpster diving and leftovers-taking and I am feeling pretty good about it. Every little thing helps in the food waste fight right?

What I am realizing now is that my battle is not with the label I choose to define my eating habit but with ethical consumption. I want to feel good about the choices I make and the food going into my body. What I know is that labels suck, and they don't work for everyone. Am I a vegan? Sometimes, mostly. Am I a freegan? Free-food-eater, yes. I hate food waste. Am I a locavore, yes. Ultimately I prioritize local with all my purchases. Is there a label that applies to me? No, not really, but can we not all just become ethical consumers and make good choices everyday?

In good food,

Melanie XX