Over Christmas the residents of Chateau L spent a lot of time together. When we are together we chat - the topics are wide and varied, and sometimes I even get to talk about plants and birds. One of the things we talked about was the environment - this is a house where we are all fairly conscious of about the state of the planet, because we follow current affairs and we are interested in nature. As we talked about the dire state of affairs, we realised that the five of us could do a lot better. Not that we were bad particularly, but there is always something that can be improved.
We are starting with meat. Now our intention is not to become vegan as appears to be all the rage, nor even vegetarian, however having done some basic research on the impacts of certain foods versus others it is clear that red meat is the single most environmentally unfriendly foodstuff around - beef leads the way closely followed by lamb. Unfortunately it’s also really convenient – when you get home from work at 7pm whipping up a chilli con carne or similar is an easy option. We probably did this twice a week, though other types of red meat were very rare. No longer. We’ve invested in a couple of vegetarian cookbooks and as a family gone through them to see what we might like that seems easy and tasty – in short there are loads. What we are not going to do is go with any substitutes – quorn, tofu and their ilk are all out. Pointless to try and pretend, instead we’re going to base dishes on actual vegetables.
Last week we had a carrot biryani, a mushroom risotto using orzo, and a dish based on lentils, which means we haven’t bought or eaten something approaching 1.5kg of beef – that will soon add up. The biryani was excellent and got the thumbs up from all five of us. The risotto however,…… well we’re probably not going to have that as often. However this morning when we were planning the shopping for the week ahead I realised that Mrs L is really getting into this - four out of five meals next week seem to be vegetarian. This is was not what I thought I was getting myself into! I expect I will survive, but just to let prospective veggies out there that it appears to be a slippery slope.
Reducing meat consumption was actually just one of the things we decided we would do, but I'm already feeling overly sanctimonious for one day, and the last thing I would want people to think is that I am a saint. Nonetheless watch this space - when I've run out of birdy things to write about I might turn to the other seven or so changes. Oh, wait.....