The last day of the TL challenge, the last day of the month, Halloween.
Abandoned by family who were visiting other family there was no opportunity to gather round the oaken dining table like some Yorkshire Walton’s family to discuss the pros and cons of shopping Totally Locally.
Having just re-read the blog postings from the last month though, it seems everything we might want to say has come out along the way.
I am always leery of making sweeping claims and statements or getting too dogmatic about anything because as sure as eggs is eggs, there will be evidence or experiences from other people to the contrary.
Did or does TL shopping work for us? Yes I think it does for all sorts of reasons. To sum up the last month and what it means to me and us as a family I think that a greater respect for the food we buy, prepare and eat is the outcome of the challenge.
As we suspected, individual items are often more expensive but taken as a whole we have spent no more this month on groceries than we normally would. However we have wasted NO food. We have radically reduced the amount of rubbish we produce. We have revisited forgotten favourite recipes and made other things for the first time. We have catered for three birthday celebrations and started to alter the kitchen to make it a place which is pleasurable to be in.
Watching a news article with stock footage shot in a supermarket, it surprised me just how anxious I felt looking upon row on row of items. All that choice of startlingly uniform produce. All the waste as a result of supermarket pricing policies. All so unnecessary.
There are films, video games and books around the zombie apocalypse genre. A virus from outer space or some laboratory which turns humanity into mindless consumers (usually of brains) intent on satiating its own desires. Looking around any shopping mall or supermarket I get the impression that the zombie apocalypse has arrived unnoticed and that we are all part of it. Not a comet born bug or bite from a rabid monkey but via insidious advertising convincing us that more is best and better is necessary to be a happy and fulfilled individual.
On my last TL challenge day after my morning Babes in the Wood session I rushed home to get to another appointment in town. On such a tight time schedule, what to have for lunch?
As I pulled out containers of leftovers from the fridge, finding the tabouleh from the day before, the coleslaw from Tuesday, some crisp pickled beetroot from the weekend, it seemed that the quick grab had turned into something quite wonderful. Moving into slow time, I used up some of the leftover mix to make crispy falafels served with the mint sauce. There was herby fatayer bread to dip into olive oil and cover in the za’atar mix. Surely that last, but very generous slice of banana cake would be perfect with a generous spoonful of mango pulp on top.
In the middle of a busy day, in the midst of a hectic week, in a life too full of doing stuff, there was time to relax over delicious food.
For all the extra time it took, the world kept turning, despite the hoards of hollow eyed zombies.