Friday, June 29, 2012


"Who does it really help if I cut back? Many people are saying that it does not really matter whether we eat more or less. The argument goes something like this:
If I eat less meat this week will more grain be available in Bangladesh next year? If we stop buying sugared cereals and TV snacks the food industry will come up with something even worse. We may decide not to eat out so often but what difference will that make? The basic problem is bad government policy and import-export agreements - or snail-paced family planning programmes and corrupt governments in the Third World.
All these arguments have elements of truth. But they smack heavily of a common attitude - that it doesn't really matter what one person does; or that what one family can do is so small that it has no over-all effect. In our complex world it is difficult to see how a few families' struggles to save food will help. Yet eating less is an obvious first step. The complexity that frustrates easy answers also means that in the global family our decisions are interrelated. 'Life is like a huge spider's web so that if you touch it anywhere you set the whole thing trembling,' says Frederick Buccher.
How can we continue to overeat, knowing that people are starving in other parts of the world, and be at peace with ourselves and our neighbours?  'The destitute suffer physically, the overindulged morally,' writes one Mennonite relief administrator. Jesus recognized the desire to get more and more as a destructive force when he asked, 'Will a person gain anything if he wins the whole world but loses his life?'
When Jesus was surrounded by 5,000 hungry people he commanded his disciples to see that they were all fed. The disciples obeyed. They shared what was available, although it seemed inadequate. Their act of faith was to share and let God take responsibility for the rest.
Eating less is only a start....."
Introduction from "MORE WITH LESS COOKBOOK" How to Eat Better and Consumer Less of the World's Food Resources : Doris Longacre.

This book has live among my cookbooks for decades but recently I pulled it out hunting for an old recipe and read the introduction, part of which is above. Yes, it's a 1977 publication, but it shows that in 35 years we haven't got much further along in attitudes towards eating.
The 'recipe' for this month was not conceived out of the fantastic philosophy to food, outlined above. Rather it was through having limited food at home and the need to contribute a hearty meal for teenage boys getting together tonight.
2 cups of leftover beef casserole (I already had garlic and chilli in the 
     casserole so didn't add anymore - but you could add 2 garlic cloves
     and 1 - 2 fresh chilli into the pot)
2 onions 
3 - 4 potato
2 kumara or sweet potato
1 tin pasta sauce + 1 tin water + 1 cup more of water
1 - 2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup dried yellow or green split peas
1 mug frozen peas
salt and pepper to taste
I use a crockpot/slow cooker so the cooking is long and slow, like grandma did it.
Plug in the slow cooker. Open the tin of pasta sauce, pour it in, add the tin and extra cup of water. Peel and chunky slice the onions - add to cooker. Wash the potato and sweet potato, don't peel as the skins which are nutritious, also give more flavour and bulk to a hearty meal - add to cooker. If you are adding garlic and chilli now's the time - I put garlic into a mortar and pestle and gently crush then the skin slips off, then pound it and scrape into the cooking meal. Wash chilli, slice in half lengthwise and take seeds out, then thin slice and add to pot. Add cinnamon, dried split peas, frozen peas, salt and pepper. Give it a stir. Lid on and allow to slow cook for 6 hours on HIGH. 
Add 6-10 fine sliced basil leaves in the last hour.
Should stop a few growling tummies! You could serve with rice, couscous or pasta.... cooking more vegies if you wish or add a leafy green salad.
I would have got my boys to make this but they were at the local rural agricultural show - I'm hoping no more chickens will be bought :-%
THISWEEKWITHTHEKIDS ~ if you're on school holidays as we are, get your kids to creatively Stretch out the Leftovers. Please, I'd love your 'recipes' to develop my ideas bank.

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