A glorious early September day. Mid to high 20’s with not a breath of wind. We knew it was coming, so I cleared my schedule to have a Covid-Safe day out with Mum and Nan. That’s the beauty of being able to work for yourself. To take those opportunities for spending time doing things that bring you joy.
That, set against the context of an ever changing world, and one that’s doesn’t appear to be changing for the better. Mum and I watched a programme on BBC, so it must be true. And it was presented by David Attenborough, so it REALLY must be true. That guy is 94 and has devoted his life to the planet and all its inhabitants, and to teaching us how to look after it. Did we listen? Erm, No. No we did not.
If you would like an overview, here is an article from The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2020/sep/13/extinction-the-facts-review-a-heartbreaking-warning-from-david-attenborough
If you can access BBC iPlayer, even better: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000mn4n
It is a heart-warming but stark warning to all of us, big and small, that it is our responsibility to change our habits, otherwise millions will be lost. Millions of species, millions from our global economy.
Just as we have come to realise how interconnected we are as people, communities, cultures and economies during the COVID crisis. The same is true for our little biosphere. Mass extinction of the smallest of insects can tip the balance of our biodiversity, sending a ripple effect of destruction to the largest of creatures.
Even my Mum, who generally doesn’t get phased by such matters, has been rocked to her core. So much so that she even wanted to continue the conversation the next morning and brought it up quite out of the blue. It was clear to me she had been thinking about it overnight and wanted to talk. She’s even discussing how we can be better consumers and think of other ways we can purchase our food and manage our waste. Quite a remarkable shift I’d say.
But we can’t, as individuals, do it alone. The biggest and most effective changes will come from the top down – for once I believe this is the best way. Governments and big business have got to change how they produce and provide. And we as a population have got to change how we consume and demand.
Mum used to work for a supermarket and was telling me about the horrendous amounts of wasted food. How farmers are forced to over produce so we can discard the wonky veg and have the all illusive “straight banana”.
Aisle after aisle, and shelf after shelf must remain fully stocked in order for us to have 10 different kinds of brown bread on offer. There is an entire aisle devoted to sauces, all flavours, brands, high fat, low fat, non-fat, sugar free, gluten free, vegan free, added meat, fake meat, high fibre, low sodium, full of sugar but that’s ok because its organic….. it is madness.
Ok, I will agree that vegan and gluten options are needed for many. But I detest the umpteen brands all selling the same thing. We all know it comes from the same bloody factories, slightly altering the recipe then shove a different label on at the end. Hell, Mum even said they would get it wrong sometimes and they would receive (what they could only assume was) their brand of butter, in their branded tub, with a different lid because there was an error on the production line. And where did that entire batch go?? In the bin!!! The whole lot.
And it’s not like the supermarket food is any good. I can’t remember the last time I cried chopping onions. Oh, yes I can, I was a kid, so thirty years ago. And once a couple of years ago when I grew some of my own. I even got out a garlic clove and got Mum to smell it – NOTHING!!! I will put 3-4 cloves in my sauté veg and I can’t even taste it. It’s so over-produced it’s lost its taste. And I have to use even more than I should to get a hint of the desired effect.
Still in a state of shock and awe at what we had witnessed and now realise we experience every day; we made a pledge of sorts. To buy local and better quality wherever possible. Or make our own if we can. Even if that means cutting back on other luxuries. And we definitely won’t get it right first time, and we will no doubt make some mistakes or go back on our promise somewhere along the line. But FML, I am ready to give it go because things cannot go on like this. It must change. Starting now.
Otherwise, days like today. With my Mum and Nan, enjoying a day out. As rare as they already are, might become non-existent.
Now it’s your turn to tell me… here
If you have been forwarded this by a friend, they thought of you and you can subscribe here.