If you have an interesting or delicious food story to tell and would like to share it on our blog, then please do get in touch! Email elaina@cambridgecarbonfootprint.org and attach your post…and some lovely photos if you have them. And if you find you enjoy blogging about food, then why not become a regular contributor to the blog?

In Season Now: Sweetcorn

Emma 5Frozen sweetcorn was one of the first things we decided to stop buying after discovering it came all the way from Hungary.  We were worried how we’d survive without our freezer staple but little did we know that sweetcorn season was just around the corner.

Our first local sweetcorn turned up in our veg box a few weeks ago now but was quickly gobbled up by Continue reading

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Restaurant and shop selling only stuff past sell-by date!

As I expect most of us reading this know, a lot of food waste is caused by our throwing out foods which are past the their sell-by dates (or any of the other confusing labels supermarkets use – sell-by dates are actually for stock control in supermarkets, not about safety). Often the food is actually perfectly OK to eat. I was interested to see this piece in the online BBC News about a supermarket in Boston, USA, which is only going to sell food past its sell-by date. (The article also contains safety information, in case you are now worried about mass outbreaks of food poisoning in Boston!)

Some of the UK supermarkets are at least trying to simplify the situation. At a recent food conference a Tesco spokesperson said that they were going to phase out “sell by” dates (which are more about look and taste than safety) and use only “use by”, which means it’s not safe to use past that date, and “best before”, which applies to long-life goods, where the issue is quality more than safety. (For a clear explanation of current UK labelling, see this government description.)

Bev

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The Sweet Delight of Mulberry Jam

P1070987Fellow British Isle dwellers…this country we live in is truly amazing – particularly when it comes to food! A recent obsession of mine is foraging, as there’s something so wonderful about food for free! So I want to ask you all: do you make the most of the abundance of amazing food that is growing in your hedgerows, in your back gardens and along public byways?

Since moving to Cambridge from Australia two years ago, I find myself in a constant state of awe at this (to me) incredible phenomenon, and I try my hardest to make Continue reading

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Gardening in September – Happy harvest festival!

by Keith Jordan

Keith 1The long sunny summer finally came to an abrupt end – it was too good to last, but great while it lasted!  It is the season for reaping and gathering crops, garden shows and harvest festivals.   Harvest festivals are often traditionally held on or near the Harvest Moon (the full moon nearest the autumnal equinox) – this year it will be September 18-19 in the Northern Hemisphere.   The early evening moonrise (around sunset) makes every Harvest Moon special – a great sight today but once gave vital extra light to communities (before tractors) frantically trying to harvest crops they knew were vital for survival.    Continue reading

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Making the most of meat

Ann 1Ann Mitchell has written a fabulous article in the Sustainable Food section that CCF writes for Cambridge News. You can read the entire article here, but here’s a little teaser:

‘Eating meat is costly in terms of its carbon footprint, land use and environmental impact. Beef cattle need not only the land they graze, but also land to grow additional food for them. Both cattle and sheep contribute to carbon emissions by producing a considerable amount of methane, contributing to climate change. The demand for meat around the world has resulted in intensive…’

September 11, 2013

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Local food that comes to us

Emma 3

Our first veg box!

We decided that the easiest way to ensure we got some local food into our diet was by signing up to a veg box scheme as that way the food would come to us. Then came the difficult part – deciding which one to go for from the list of local producers in the resources section.  We decided to go with Cambridge Organic Food Company because they seemed to be the best value and delivered to our area.  We opted for the small mixed box and patiently waited for it’s arrival. Continue reading

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Smoky Sweet Potato Burgers with Roasted Garlic Sauce

Elise 1One of the things I’m very conscious of as a vegan is being able to feed my omnivore friends tasty vegan meals. When I tell people I’m vegan the first question out of their mouth is normally a rather shocked: ‘What do you eat!?!’ So I’m always quite eager to prove that you can make nutritious, filling vegan alternatives to omnivore favourites. And omnivores tend to love their burgers! Continue reading

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Flour-free Lemon & Blueberry Polenta Cake

As an Australian living in England I find I spend a lot of my time complaining rather bitterly about various aspects of English life that I don’t fancy all that much. These aspects are mostly weather-related but lately there’s not been much to complain about and I find myself being cheered up by the sun and the various fantastic things about the English summer. Continue reading

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Making the food we eat more climate-friendly

 A weeks' worth of food, not including the ‘store cupboard ingredients’ or meat we already had.

A weeks’ worth of food, not including the ‘store cupboard ingredients’ or meat we already had.

Tackling low carbon food is something which has been on my to-do list for ages but has never quite made it to the top as other changes have felt far simpler.  We eat very little meat and processed food so therefore hoped that our food carbon footprint is lower than average; but there is definitely still more to be done.  I hope blogging my progress will keep me motivated and enable me to pick up some great tips on the way. Continue reading

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Gardening in August: Summer wanes as autumn fruits appear

by Keith Jordan

thermometerThe schools are out for summer and the holidays are in full flow but, with some regret, every year there are some subtle changes in the natural world in early/mid August that signal the summer is on the wane! The start of the football season is another reminder! Campers also find that clear nights and heavy dews can be a feature of mid August. My garden thermometer dropped to 6 deg C the other night here and it went down to about 4 C in Thetford.

About one week after the Cambridge Folk Festival finishes the swifts that have been flying and screeching over our houses are noticeably absent. They are already on the move, following their epic twice-yearly journey to Africa along with some of the warblers and other migrant birds that have graced our neighbourhoods. Continue reading

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Bring-and-Share and Tapas

Bev 1Check out Bev’s latest contribution to the Cambridge News Sustainable Food blog. Read the entire article here, but in the meantime here is the enticing introduction…

I was just browsing through Hugh Fernley-Whittingstall’s book River Cottage Veg Every Day recently and I was really taken with his attitude to creating delicious meals with lots of vegetables. He pretty much sums up my own view when he says in his introduction: “We need to eat more vegetables and less flesh, because vegetables are the foods that do us the most good, and our planet the least harm.” And, of course, vegetable dishes are incredibly delicious! Continue reading

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Black Badgers: locally grown peas

Black Badger packetBlack Badger stewI have just eaten the most delicious veggie stew with some amazing dried peas called Black Badgers. They are really delicious, with an earthy, nutty taste. (Dave, my husband, said “I could eat these every day.”, which is quite accolade!) When I bought peas from Hodmedod’s, I thought they would be dried green ones, the kind you use for mushy peas (and actually they do sell Kabuki peas, which are like those), but these dark brown ones are a real find. And the best bit is that they are grown in Norfolk, together with peas and fava beans (split or whole – I much prefer split, as I find the skins a bit tough on the whole ones) and you can buy them from Hodmedod’s).

Continue reading

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Maia & Lindsey: Challenge Reflections

Lindsey 4

Our latest food challenge encouraged participants to Eat Well on a Budget of no more than £23 per week. Here are Maia and Lindsey’s reflections on their experiences, accompanied by some glorious photos by Lindsey. Continue reading

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Food Bloggers Wanted!

Are you interested in sustainable food? We are in the process of expanding our sustainable food blog to include a large variety of different food-related issues and are looking for volunteers to contribute to the blog on a regular basis.

Edinburgh Farmers' Market

Edinburgh Farmers’ Market

We’re looking for someone who…

  • Is interested in low-carbon living, particularly food
  • Enjoys writing and can commit to writing regular pieces for the blog (such as once a week/fortnight/month)
  • Perhaps has a blog about low-impact living and would be interested to do a regular or one-off guest blog post

For more information go to the volunteers page or email elaina@cambridgecarbonfootprint.org.

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In praise of the lowly dried bean!

gram flour pancake with salad

gram flour pancake with salad

I’ve just finished the latest Eating Well on a Budget challenge, which was meant to be 12 days of eating on no more than £3.30 per day per adult (or £23 per week), also eating “good quality local seasonal food”. The complication for me is that I am now eating vegan food, which meant that I needed to eat some imported dried beans, but that’s OK, as they are probably actually lower in greenhouse gases than local meat. Continue reading

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