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Meal Planning

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It is Wednesday. Traditionally, Wednesday signals the half-way mark of the week. The final hurdle to conquer before the countdown to the weekend. In our household, it announces the start of a new meal plan.

Humans like the comfort of routine. When I asked my mother for advice after our daughter was born, she told me how well babies respond to routine. She knows. She’s had four and looked after quite a few more. And, as it turns out, most of us never loose this inborn need for a habitual practice.

So what does habit formation have to do with minimalism, you may ask? Well, although the contents of our organic produce box are meant to offer a week’s worth of fruit and veg for a family of four, we used to end up spending money on more food yet throwing away limp leftovers. Not very much in line with the conscious minimalism philosophy that we subscribe to!

According to WRAP – the UK food waste experts that work with governments, businesses, local authorities and consumers to reduce waste – food with a retail value of around £13 billion was thrown away rather than eaten in 2015. This avoidable household food waste was associated with 19 million tonnes of CO2e, which is equivalent to the emissions generated by 1 in 4 cars on UK roads. Yet (http://www.worldhunger.org) states that the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that about 795 million people of the 7.3 billion people in the world, or one in nine, were suffering from chronic undernourishment in 2014-216. So the amount of food waste is growing, our environment is being polluted and people are going hungry? Time for us to try and do our little thing.

Every Wednesday, at the crack of dawn, an organic produce box lands on our doorstep. Before the school run, my son ‘carefully’ decants the surprise contents into the fridge drawers and fruit bowl while I take stock. Once the kids have been dropped off, the recipe books come out and 4 to 5 meals plus the cake(s) for the week are planned. And then I am off to the supermarket for the weekly shop. That’s it. Done.

The benefits of this approach are manifold. Not only do we reduce our contribution to the growing mountain of food waste, save money and lower our impact on the environment, we have also freed up time. Time for wholehearted, conscious living.

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