I hope I’ve been honest about how I cook and eat food because it’s important. What we eat is important for our health but it’s not only that. We live in a world that is experiencing climate crisis. Where not enough of us have enough to eat and yet ,in this country, food that farmers grow is often sold for less than it costs to produce. Where some of the farming methods used to grow it are actively detrimental to the health of the soil and wildlife. Food isn’t just about food.
When you have £20 to feed a family of four because the rent and the bills are just too damn high. Then you may not be able to care about the type of food you buy and I get that.
I’ve been there, I spend 2016, right here documenting what I bought and ate and cooked on a budget of £15 a week. And to be clear before that when I was unemployed, £15 a week wasn’t just for food it was my entire disposable income. I started cooking from scratch, partly because it’s what I grew up watching my mother do, because I enjoy it and, because I was unemployed and had the time.
Now I do it because it’s what I do and I feed myself so if turns out wrong or not so great so what? To quote Nigel Slater, “we are just making something to eat’. I also learnt to can, changed what and how I bought things, started to eat a lot more of what I grow and all of that has had an impact on my food choices.
All of this to say and explain, I know I’m privileged with, knowledge, time, equipment and the freedom that comes with not having to please anyone but myself but I still think it’s important.
Jess at Roots and Refuge has started a You Tube series about how to start cooking from scratch and if you were thinking about it, this would be a good place to start. Jess is from the American South so some of it might not resonate or be practical for the UK but I think it’s a pretty reasonable place to start.
I started with bread and hummus, because I’ve always been funny about bread and eat a lot of hummus. But of the examples listed, I make mayonnaise, buy ketchup, use mostly olive oil and butter, don’t eat margarine and, grate my own cheese.
I do buy processed food, I don’t like milk, so banana nesquik is a compromise that gets 200ml of organic whole milk and my collagen peptides in me every morning (because collagen is working to help my joints and wrinkles and I’m of an age that
I do buy processed food, I don’t like milk, so banana nesquik is a compromise that gets 200ml of organic whole milk and my collagen peptides in me every morning (because collagen is working to help my joints and wrinkles and I’m of an age that osteoporosis is a worry). My food standard is do the best I can for my health, the planet and the farmers. I try to eat seasonally and mostly when I don’t it’s Oddbox, there are huge reasons I’m not vegan but I do try to be fussy about the type of meat I buy, which is mostly from The Dorset Meat Company.