‘Last Night’s Leftovers’ For Food Revolution DayWed 26 Jun 2013
Story by Regula Ysewijn
I didn't just have a Food Revolution Day, I had a Food Revolution week but more importantly every day is a Food Revolution Day for me. Food Revolution Day is just the day we celebrate it, share it. It shouldn't stop on this day; it should become a way of life.
So why get involved for Food Revolution Day?
To unite, to stand up together and show the world, but more importantly the people closest to you the importance of eating well, cooking and thinking before we buy. Even if you just inspire one person, it is with that person a change will start. Jamie Oliver was that one person at one time in his life, now he is the power behind this day. He has given us the platform to fight for the change we are waiting for.
We take too much for granted these days and forget to give something back, to make a difference, even if it is small like buying food from a local farm. We need to stop and think about the food on our plate, where it comes from, whether or not it has been processed and how and in which conditions it was produced. And we need to get cooking again.
There was a time when everyone knew how to cook, and cooking skills used to be passed down from generation to generation but somewhere in the last decades it all went terribly wrong. There are now millions of people who struggle to cook up a basic meal. If we don't take action now, soon there will be a generation without cooking skills and no knowledge to pass on to their children. It is of vital importance to our health and those of our children to eat well as obesity is spreading like a plague. But it's not only for our health but for community and family spirit, to sit down to enjoy a meal together and talk, to exchange recipes and to keep our food traditions which are historically important alive.
Last year a bunch of friends and fellow food bloggers and I celebrated our local food with a potluck dinner for Food Revolution day and this year I decided to focus on the workplace. As we do spend most of our time at work it is very important to give some thinking about the food we eat during the day. I myself mostly pack my leftovers from dinner the evening before. This reduces food waste and ensures me I will get enough nutrition from my lunch to provide me with enough energy for the busy day.
Leftovers for lunch
My idea was to create a 'Last Night’s Leftover's' lunch pack. I created flyers, posters and a mailer to promote my event and get all my colleagues in the mood. My colleagues and my husband’s office signed up to donate five euro's to the cause in return for the lunch pack.
As I'm convinced chili con carne makes for the tastiest leftovers I gave everyone the choice between a 'last night's leftover' chili con carne or a veggie chili. Monday evening I started cooking when I got home from the office, helped by my husband who did the labeling of the lunch bags and filled them each with an apple and two homemade mini bunt cakes for dessert. I turned off the oven well after midnight and was asleep by two o’clock with a big smile and excited for the day to come.
Next day, an hour before lunchtime I ran down the stairs to our neighbors in the building, a catering company with a pop-up restaurant. They also ordered lunch packs for their family and kindly donated the usage of their kitchen so I could do a decent job in preparing everything for lunch time. I finished the salads, heated up the two chili casseroles and decorated the table with my Food Revolution merchandise to get everyone in the mood to ask questions and have a lovely meal together.
The hungry graphic designers came down and queued up with their lunch bag to be served with their choice of chili. It all went down a treat, people came for seconds, thirds and the pot was cleaned out with the leftover bread. There were no leftovers for the day after but some thought ahead and had ordered two packs, one for lunch and one for the next day. And as chili only gets better and better, they were reminded of Food Revolution again the next day.
After a giant clean up I got behind my computer and got on with the rest of my tasks for the day, tired but happy to have been a part of it.
From Antwerp to Turin
The next day I was on a plane to Italy and on Friday I celebrated Food Revolution Day with the lovely participants of Food Revolution in Turin. Beautiful Lasagna did a Food Revolution week cooking up fantastic lasagna made with slow food products. L'Aula Magna' did a special Food Revolution menu, Betta also takes people to the market to teach them how to shop for groceries. The day came to a close at Food Lab for a Food Revolution aperitivo with food made in their teaching kitchen and this is where I met the lovely Marci who is the Food Revolution Ambassador for Turin. It was a great day with great food and fantastic people.
About the author: On her blog 'Miss Foodwise', Regula Ysewijn writes about her quest discovering everything there is to know about British food and culture. Whenever she can she will visit farms and producers to learn about their life and the food they produce for us. Regula is a food photographer, graphic designer and culinary school student. instagram + twitter: @missfoodwise
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