Bins, booze and the rightful return of small

Yes it’s backlash week! After the cooking and eating being dominated by the main event (Christmas Lunch) with all the chocolate, booze, pastry and other overload that entails, it was inevitable.

First the waste of it all. After discovering that  230,000 tonnes of food ends up in the bin over the Christmas period – that’s equivalent in weight to 4.6 million whole turkeys which often end up in landfill – I was taken aback to read that Wales now exports some of its food waste to England.

And not just over the border either – it travels all the way from Cardiff to Derbyshire!

As WalesOnline calculated;

An average of 500 tonnes of the waste a week are transported 140 miles in 25 lorry loads emitting 128 tonnes of CO2.

Then there’s the inevitable hangover. January is the month of the liver clean up in our household so for the rest of this month, I’m going to be seeking out the alcohol-free options.

Not being a fan of fizzy drinks (unlike this guy who has been collecting such things since 1985), it seems tricky to find soft drinks which go well with food. I’m going to try out various options and will post a review of what I find here in a few weeks. Any recommendations gratefully received.

And of course there’s the diet. Daft diets are already hitting the TV schedules and will undoubtedly be padding out the Sunday supplements today, so what a relief it was to read the interesting thoughts of Susie Orbach on the subject during her lunch interview with the FT this week.

The author of Fat is a Feminist Issue more than 30 years ago has a new book out (Bodies) which points an accusing finger at the beauty/health industry or “the merchants of body hatred”.

William Leith, her lunch companion, writes:

“Her point is that, if people are anxious and needy, they make better consumers; if they are anxious about something as fundamental as their bodies, they are easy prey for marketers. And things are getting worse. “In my mum’s day”, she says, “you needed to be beautiful for a very short time to catch your man. It didn’t start at six and go on until you’re 75, right?”

Finally, I was delighted to see the year start with the Plain English Campaign getting stuck into one of my personal bugbears – the use of word ‘regular’ to describe drinks.

As The Telegraph reported;

The Plain English Campaign – which battles against the use of gobbledegook – says cafes should stop offering ”regular” coffees but merely ask customers if they want ”small, medium or large”.

A campaign spokeswoman said cafes were pointlessly using a meaningless term when describing a drink size as ”regular”.

Hurrah! OK, I know I’m a grumpy old woman, but finally I feel vindicated having for years asked for “just a small one”, often to annoyed mutterings from serving staff.

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7 thoughts on “Bins, booze and the rightful return of small

  1. Great post Sarah, that’s shocking about the waste would be very interested in finding out more of what are government and councils are planning on doing to reduce this.
    The waste issue actually really bothers me, I wonder if it has to do with the fast food generation, I mean do people not think of ways to use left overs to avoid the throwing our of perfectly good food?

    As for soft drinks you’re right it’s hard to find alternatives especially as the majority are rammed full of sugar and additives. I tend to favour lime or lemon in water after Christmas not exciting but jazzes up water a little.

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    1. Yes, the idea that waste trundles hundreds of miles around the countryside was news to me too. On the drinks, there must be a market for adult alcohol-free alternatives, at least I’m hoping so becuase, like you water and lime is my usual compromise.

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  2. I would reccomend sparkling apple cider, perrier with a twist of lime, flavored seltzers, seven-up with a splash of grenadine syrup, orange juice with a splash of cranberry, or flavored seltzers for the non-alcoholic drinks.

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      1. In the USA, sparkling apple cider is non-alcoholic!

        Apple cider (sometimes soft or sweet cider) is the name used in the United States and parts of Canada for an unfiltered, unsweetened, non-alcoholic drink made from apples.

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  3. I know you said you’re not a fizzy drink fan, but you should check out Bundaberg’s Lemon, Lime & Bitters. It’s a ready-mixed sparkling drink but it’s got a nice sour/tart edge to it that means it doesn’t have that sickly soft drink taste and it goes well with food – http://www.bundaberg.com/info/product_range/lemon_lime_bitters/default.asp
    Having spent the last 9 months pregnant (and still waiting for little ‘un to make an appearance!) and therefore on a constant search for non-alcoholic drinks that aren’t fruit juice, I can tell you it’s a struggle to find anything. If you’re going down the non-alcoholic beer route, avoid most of them (especially Kaliber) except Cobra which is ok. Have fun!

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