Food

Food and drink plays a major role in our lives. We need it to grow, develop and function.

Whatever our mood, we think about food, we centre our celebrations around it and just the smell of food can bring back a memory. For most of the people in this country, if we want a certain food we can get it.

More about the problem with food

Seaford Community Garden.

Seaford Community Garden

Buy from local shops and farmers markets

Seaford is a unique town with many independent shops.

The community garden based in The Crouch Gardens is open on a Wednesday and Saturday morning (10am – 12) to buy seasonal fruit and vegetables.

Dymock farm shop has a great variety.

There are farmers markets at East Dean (Every Wednesday 10am -12:30) and Lewes (1st and 3rd Saturday of the month).

Picking tea in Munnar, India

Find out where your food comes from

Look at your buying habits to see if you can make more sustainable choices.

  • Buy plant-based meat replacements for more of your meals.
  • Avoid products in lots of packaging.
  • Heavily processed foods usually mean a higher carbon footprint.
  • Join with friends and neighbours to buy food in bulk and split between you.
  • Buy dried beans and pulses in bulk instead of tinned varieties.
  • Choose organic where you can.
  • Swap ingredients in dishes for more sustainable options such as using bulgur wheat instead of rice in dishes. It contains more fibre and protein, and uses less water to grow.
  • Buy foods that are certified to ensure farmers get a fair wage and food is grown sustainably such as Fairtrade products and SRP certified rice.
  • Avoid products containing palm oil including so-called sustainably sourced.
  • Visit the HEALabel website – a fantastic website for information about the impacts of individual foods on health, environment, animals and workers.
Fried sprouts.

Eat seasonally

Eat seasonally including the seasons of foods from other countries. Eating seasonal, locally sourced food doesn’t have to travel so far, hopefully doesn’t come in plastic packaging and usually uses less water or pesticides to grow.

You’ll find a useful printable chart of the UK fruit and vegetable season at www.countrysideonline.co.uk 

Experience a day working on a local organic vegetable farm.

Stanmer Organics
A variety of environmental and horticultural projects to volunteer with at Stanmer Organics.
stanmerorganics.com/volunteer-opportunities

Gleaning Network
Join the Gleaning Network helping to harvest food to give to charities that would otherwise go to waste.
bhfood.org.uk/directory/sussex-gleaning-network

Vegetable garden

Grow your own

Grow your own – even if this is a tub of cut and come again lettuce or herbs you use regularly on your windowsill. Think of the space, water (if you collect rainwater), fertiliser, transportation and packaging this saves.

This is a great website to buy vegetable seeds grown without the use of peat. They also send a monthly email to tell you what you should be doing in the garden. https://vitalseeds.co.uk/

For perennial vegetables that will grow back every year, visit: www.incrediblevegetables.co.uk 

To learn about permaculture, visit: www.permaculture.org.uk or www.brightonpermaculture.org.uk

Children cooking.

Cooking

Sustainable cooking tips

  • Cook more from scratch.
  • Eat more vegetables.
  • Eat less meat and dairy.
  • Store food correctly to prolong life. www.lovefoodhatewaste.com
  • Save energy when cooking by keeping a lid on saucepans and place on the same size hob. 
  • Plan to cook several things at once when using the oven.
  • Make veg that’s past its best into soup.
  • If fruit has gone soft, cook it and stir into a cake sponge mixture before baking, use in a fruit pie or serve with yoghurt.
  • 20 million slices of bread are thrown away every day! Slice and freeze half of your loaf of bread when you buy or make it. Bread doesn’t take long to defrost, particularly slices.
  • Look for recipes to use up leftovers. The BBC food website has hundreds of recipes for any ingredient.
  • Put unused vegetable scraps into a compost bin. If you haven’t got a compost bin, pass onto a neighbour who does. If you live close to Seaford Community Garden, you can take your vegetable scraps for their compost heap.
  • Make sure hot food has cooled down before putting in the fridge.
  • If you have space in a freezer, fill it with plastic bags to make it run more efficiently.
  • Use reusable plastic tubs instead of aluminium foil or cling film.
  • Cover leftover food with a plate instead of cling film. 
  • Learn new cookery skills at a local cookery class:

Community Chef, Lewes.

World kitchen@Denton Island Community Centre – monthly cooking club

East Sussex College cookery courses

Brighton and Hove Food Partnership Community Kitchen

Lerato cookery classes, Eastbourne

Brighton cookery school

Food waste.

Food Waste

  • Do a quick stock take before shopping and make a list.
  • Don’t go shopping while hungry.
  • Store food correctly to prolong the life. www.lovefoodhatewaste.com food storage guide.
  • If your plans change, can you freeze the food, cook it to prolong the life or give it away if you can’t use it?
  • Cook sensible sized portions. Weigh your pasta or rice before cooking.
  • Eat food within 3 days of cooking. Freeze it if you can’t eat it so soon. Once you have reheated it to piping hot (72°c on a temperature probe), the food can be kept for another 3 days but do not reheat twice.
  • A best before date is about quality. The food will be safe to eat but maybe not at it’s best.
    NHS – Food Labelling Terms
  • Form a Whatsapp group with your neighbours to share unwanted food and other items.
  • Join the Olio app or local food sharing groups. Food Waste Saviours Seahaven Facebook group.

Think about the packaging 

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