Food Packaging: Has The World Gone Completely Mad?

I am slowly educating myself about my personal impact on the environment. It helps when you have a daughter who works in climate science, and who helpfully reminds you each time you forget your recycled bags at the supermarket about how many turtles you’ve just killed.

Photo by Vivianne Lemay on Unsplash

I admit that, (for my sins), I am still using wipes. Responsibility is a permanent battle between turning your back on the wonders of modern invention for the sake of something that still doesn’t feel quite real – at least for some. And what a bloody fantastic invention cleansing wipes are!

Needless to say, my education about how to respect the environment has been an embarrassing slow burn for my daughter The reef dying and the ice-caps melting doesn’t mean a lot until you are directly affected by it, and if I’m honest, (being somewhat set in my ways), I am only just coming to grips with my phone’s secret updates.

However, when you read articles like The Wasteland by Stephanie Wood in last weekend’s SMH, there’s no ignoring what’s happening.

While NC has done a great job of educating me about recycling, conserving energy, and sustainability, the issue of food wastage hasn’t come up yet – probably because it’s never been an issue in our house. Which is why the work of organisations such as Ozharvest (that Stephanie mentions) – a company that collects the food waste from supermarkets and hospitality to recycle it for the homeless and others in need – was such an eye-opener.

Interestingly, a friend and I had a similar idea (on a much smaller scale) a few months back, when we considered extending the idea of Kurt’s care packages, (ie. the several meals a week I deliver him to help him survive the days between one pay day to the next), to a batch for the homeless each month. Sadly, however, our idea was met by such a horrified response from our friends – who worried about the legal ramifications if we killed someone – we were forced to rethink.

What a very sad world we live in?

So while I may not be able to check which of the homeless are gluten-free, what I can do in my mission to become a middle-aged eco-warrior, is reduce the amount of plastic I use and increase awareness about the damage done by excess packaging. I was pondering over this very thing when I was in Woolworths the other day and I spotted these bags of fruit.

Yes, look again – your eyes do not deceive you. For these are indeed individually packaged bags of sliced apple for kids lunch boxes, helpfully contained in another package.

Now, my husband will verify that I can be a wasteful person and I am also fully aware that more and more parents work full time and don’t have the time to carve flowers out of carrots – hence, I will try not to cast stones – BUT WTF IS GOING ON? Our kids are marching in the streets, telling us how scared they are about climate change, and we can’t even slice an apple now?

Why do we need to package our fruit in plastic trays and then wrap it again in a second layer of plastic? Doesn’t it seem a little crazy that that we march happily around the supermarket feeling all smug about our recyclable canvas bags, when we’re carrying enough plastic inside them to cancel any benefit? In the old days – as in the Medieval times when I was a child – our parents took one bag to the market for their fruit and veg, which was poured directly into it from the scale. It was probably how I learned my basic maths skills. And in countries where diet is based on a farm-to-table principle, people continue to manage to cope with that system.

Aside from the addition of unnecessary landfill, the threat to wildlife and the environment, and the fact that the planet may self-combust in a few years, what does such a blatant lack of responsibility say to our kids about our privilege and our priorities?

I suspect that it’s that the world has gone fucking mad.

10 Things Australia Should Be Proud Of…

Image of Bronte rock pool.
Image from Unsplash

Australia has been through the wringer lately. If we are to believe the daily news, we’ve not had a lot to be proud of lately. The incarceration of Rolf Harris has been followed up with an embarrassing succession of prime ministers – most of whom have yet to prove that they are any wiser than their predecessors – we’ve had some fairly average sports performances (and questionable sportsmanship from a country in which sport anchors the culture), as well as some fairly damning criticism of our treatment of refugees and women.

To add salt to the wound, this week The Guardian chronicled a scathing report of our historical, systematic abuse of Aboriginals. And that’s without even mentioning George Pell – a blight on Catholicism who refuses to be put away quietly, in spite of his CONVICTION for sexually abusing minors.

From the perspective of a migrant, I can confirm that the rest of the world used to see Australia as a land of opportunity, with an enviable work/life balance and the kind of chilled temperament that comes from a close-to-perfect climate. So, what’s gone wrong?

In our defence, the proverbial shit hasn’t only targeted our fan of late. Frankly, the international stage is in a mess when it comes to political players, environmental responsibility and our uneasy confrontation of the truths about sexual abuse.

But while the naysayers and harbingers of doom in the Twitter-sphere suggest that we are close to Armageddon, I’m here to reassure you that we’re not even close. Not if the tears shed during the first few chords of “We Are Australian” are anything to go by.

Which is why, sometimes, it’s important to step back and look at where we’ve come from vis a vis where we are now. Because we are moving forwards, not backwards – albeit at a slower pace than many of us would like. And in a climate such as the current one, it can be easy to forget about the good stuff, even when all evidence suggests that our values are changing for the better.

Deservedly, there is deep pride of this country, that is sometimes misinterpreted as nationalism, but which (I’m certain for the average Aussie) is far more representative of gratitude. We know how lucky we are. It’s just that like many countries, we recognise that we are in what will be documented as a period of self-correction, recalibration and change, as a result of recent progressive leaps in the identification and awareness of inequalities.

No one is perfect, but like a puzzle, it is the assembly of the many small pieces that creates the bigger picture. And most of our small pieces are good. So, let’s hold our heads high and be proud of who we are as we strive towards self-improvement. Self-reflection and evaluation are critical areas of personal development in any job – and they are just as necessary for countries to evolve as optimism and self-congratulation are when they are deserved.

But if like me, you feel a bit meh each morning when you open the news page on your computer to the latest shock headline about what Australia is doing wrong, or where we’re behind the rest of the world, here’s a reminder of ten things we can still be proud of:

  1. Giving everyone “a fair go”– One of the beliefs in Australia is that everyone should be given a fair go. Sounds obvious, doesn’t it? But for Australians, is is a value they try to uphold.
  2. We thank our bus drivers for doing their job – Getting on and off the public buses, Australians make a point of thanking the driver for their service. It is an example of a small token of gratitude that demonstrates the respect they hold for each other.
  3. We provide food at lunch and dinner invitations to take the pressure off the host. We’ve also borrowed the US tradition of preparing a roster of home-cooked meals to people that are sick.
  4. Our customer service has to be one of the best in the world. When we first visited, the optimism and smiles of retail and hospitality staff were one of the things that convinced us that Australia was the right place for us.
  5. Our dedication to family and its values. Australians dedicate their weekends to family fun, sports and the beach.
  6. Our ability to always look on the bright side of life. Australians don’t moan. In the same way that we’re weirdly proud of having the ten deadliest creatures in the world, we’re also happy when it rains, because we know how good it is for the grass.
  7. Having no class structure. Sure, there are pockets of inherited money here like there are in most countries, but on the whole, there is no social ranking linked to where you came from. That means there is less snobbery, pretentiousness and judgment in terms of materialism. Australia is a meritocracy, in which the majority of us judge and are judged by the kind of people we are rather than the size of our house or make of car.
  8. The success of our multicultural society – The steps the nation is taking to put right the wrongs of the past and to prevent further discrimination may be baby steps in some areas, but the voice of the people is getting louder. Such variety of culture ensure an evolving smorgasbord of learning, from cuisine to spiritualism, as does our proximity to Asia.
  9. Our love and appreciation for the natural earth and its beautyahem, ignoring the current government’s stance on climate change. Many people are surprised when they find out that many Australian kids don’t leave the country until their infamous gap year – when they descend on London. But aside from the obvious reason – that we live f.cking miles from anywhere – why would they? In terms of climate and landscape, we are lucky to have the diversity of landscapes on our doorstep as Europe and the US – beaches and reef, mountains, deserts and rainforests. Furthermore, there is a national pride and love for the land.
  10. Our Coffee. No competition.

Forgiveness And The Ability To Say Sorry

valentines-day-3135789_1920 (1)Ask any member of my family and they will confirm that one of my biggest faults is my lack of forgiveness and more pertinently my inability to say “sorry.” It is not something I can deny, and neither will I apologize for it – obviously.

 

Perhaps my absence of empathy in this regard has something to do with my star sign – because Leos are renowned for their arrogance – perhaps it is a defense mechanism that I have developed over the years to prevent myself from getting hurt, or perhaps it is because I lack any spiritual influence in my life.

 

Don’t worry, I’m not the sort of crazy that scratches cars with sharp knives or sews out-of-date prawns into curtains. No, my punishment of choice is much more evil. It is the punishment of silence and eternal banishment to another kingdom, never to be heard from again – so, as you will appreciate, not an attractive quality, and not one that I am not particularly proud of.

 

The old man has certainly experienced the brunt of my anger on many occasions and once NC and I endured a four-day sulking match when she was still barely out of nappies. However, maturity and the loss of some dear people in my life has taught me that we don’t always get the chance to say “sorry” – which is something that terrifies me, particularly when my grudges, (in hindsight), are particularly shallow. So, while in years gone by I could justify ignoring my father for years, these days I force myself to thaw out quicker and extend the olive branch, ever-conscious of the fragility of life.

 

That being said, the attitude of the father of the family killed in the murder-suicide last week astounded me. Because I’m certain I would struggle to employ the word “forgiveness” in the same sentence as the alleged murderer’s name, a matter of days after my four children had been murdered in their beds. As you know, I am the staunchest supporter of mental illness, but I cannot condone or excuse murder or domestic abuse on any level. Perhaps, I might muster some small sense of pity on my own deathbed, but in no situation could I see myself forgiving such a heinous perpetration of my family’s human rights and trust in the immediate aftermath of such a tragedy. As the police have confirmed that the father is not a suspect in the tragedy, I can only attribute his quick response to shock, medication or faith. Yet…if he has truly managed to find forgiveness, I have to commend him.

 

It is important to remember that ‘just as important as defining what forgiveness is, though, is understanding what forgiveness is not. Experts who study or teach forgiveness make clear that when you forgive, you do not gloss over or deny the seriousness of an offense against you. Forgiveness does not mean forgetting, nor does it mean condoning or excusing offenses.’ What it does do, however, is ‘bring the forgiver peace of mind and frees him or her from corrosive anger.’ (Greater Good Magazine)

 

The wisdom and clear-headedness (!) of age confirms the futility and danger of anger to both our mental and physical health and offers us the alternative solution of removing toxicity out of our lives completely, rather than trying to maintain the perilous ties of a damaging relationship. I am an expert in this field. From British stock – hence, over-apologetic and terrified of confrontation – whenever I have found myself tested and unable to handle the emotional fallout and consequences of relationships-gone-bad in the past, I have either stuck my head in the sand or walked away and severed the tie completely.

 

However, the problem with that approach is its capacity to leave us very lonely, which is (fortunately) when that wisdom of age can step in again to remind us that some relationships are worth egg on your face and fighting for, and to stop acting like a dickhead.

 

 

 

 

 

When You’re Still Going To The Zoo At Fifty!

Sydney holds its Vivid Festival at this time of the year – a two-week extravaganza where the city is lit up with, well…lights, and luckily for us, a friend of mine organised tickets for us to celebrate this year’s celebrations at Taronga Zoo.

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Crikey! Crocs!

I like zoos and the old man could hardly contain his excitement as we sat in traffic on the way there. Interestingly, we were the only adults without small children at the event, even though several sets of parents offered us theirs, for forever.  And I admit, that there were moments in between the ‘wows’ and whoops of joy that came from the whole city’s population of children, when the old man and I asked ourselves why the fuck we weren’t in the pub drinking wine.

The event also confirmed my suspicion that Australia has a fascination with crocodiles, which is fortunate because the likelihood is that they will soon be running the country. Where in the past, crocodiles were only found in Northern Queensland, they have headed further south since culling was deemed politically incorrect and their lives became more highly valued than those of the human population. The nation also suspects that they can do a better job of controlling terrorism than our current leader, so I envisage a Planet of The Apes-style takeover, once they decide that feeding off tourists (stupid enough to get into the water at night) isn’t enough of a Masterchef experience.

When we were in Port Douglas recently, I was informed that the reason the locals don’t swim in the ocean has, in fact, nothing to do with the Box Jelly Fish or Irukandji, and more to do with the saltwater crocs that have taken up surfing. The old man says it was the wine, but I swear I spotted one waiting for me in the water beneath our restaurant one evening, licking its lips in readiness for the curves of my newly acquired size 16 body.

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Her Cuteness, who has her aunt’s penchant for sparkles

Only a month or so before that I was on the Sunshine Coast visiting my sister and my niece – Her Cuteness -who we took to the zoo one day to while away the toddler-awake hours before we could open the wine. Australia Zoo is the one set up by the Irwin family – basically the Royal Family here, who will ultimately replace the national emblem on our passports and citizen certificates as well as the various luminaries on our bank notes.  Once you get past the cheesiness and outright terror of the bronze version of this iconic family, Bindi’s dancing and the nauseating sight of green safari suits on every child – could this be a job for VB? – the space is a wonderful representation of Australian wildlife, and in particular of those animals that like to eat us.

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The terrifying Irwin Family

As you might be aware, Steve Irwin had a bit of a thing about crocs and his party piece was to taunt them with meat and then capture them in a testosterone-fuelled display of Australian maleness, and this still goes on in the show, only his offspring have since taken over the mantle. I tried not to think it, but there was a tiny part of me that hoped for a croc win that day as we sat in the blistering heat and watched Robert and Bindi play hide and seek with those poor – toothless, I suspect – crocs.

Fortunately, there is a lot more to see than drugged up reptiles and nocturnal animals that refuse to play ball and look alert when toddlers poke, prod and force feed them. In fairness, I was quite impressed by the spacious green plains for the larger animals and my niece had all her dreams come true when she discovered that the real Kings of the jungle (in the minds of most cute two-year-olds) – the ponies – were offering rides. And while I fretted about the potential nit hazard of hundreds of little kids all sharing the same riding helmets, my sister’s chest filled with pride.

I Hope I Go Doing Something I Love

beach-1838501_1920Laeticia Brouwer, a seventeen-year-old surfer lost her life to a shark yesterday, and shortly afterwards her devastated parents were forced to give the press their thoughts about her life – presumably, so they’d leave them alone to begin the grieving process.

‘She died doing what she loved,’ is a comment we hear often after these sorts of uncontrollable, unthinkable events; when death is caused by the hand of nature. In fact, what Laeticia was doing, was living. Just like when people get caught up in floods, tsunamis or earthquakes, she was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Unlucky. That shark had no idea that it had latched onto a human and not some salty old man version who had surfed his whole life and probably would have welcomed a death doing what he loved. No, she was a young girl with her whole life ahead of her.

 

What we need to remember is that as a surfer, she would have had an ingrained respect for the ocean. She would have known that she was a guest in the territory of others, even though I struggle with that mindset and have often questioned if it’s some surfer psychobabble they tell themselves to get back in the water after a scare. Since I’ve lived here, however, I honestly believe now that it is actually an unwritten agreement they make with nature for that first-hand privilege of being at one with it.

 

Anyway, what do I know? I struggle to put my toe in the water a millimeter beyond the lifeguards’ flags and according to scientists, I take greater risks with the amount of alcohol I drink every day.

 

Anti-shark protesters are inevitably baying for a cull because we don’t want the rest of the world to know that there are sharks in our oceans, and after two similar deaths in Western Australia last year, those sharks are getting a bit big for their boots. Let’s put to one side the recent increase in the death tolls from ocean rips and road accidents or the increase in youth suicide and domestic violence (leading to death) while we consider those statistics. Let’s forget that there are actually more attacks in the US, (and I’m not alluding to the results of Trump’s shaking finger on the button). Let’s overlook how sharks actually boost our tourism, and how virtually every Australian souvenir is plastered with the smiling, perfect dentistry of the Great White or how our zoos put on shows using their deadliest creatures as the star attraction, to fuel the perverse interest in how we Australians actually manage to leave our homes at all.

 

Part of the reason this story has stuck in the headlines, I believe, is because the victim was a young girl. Since Jaws, death by shark attack is everyone’s worst nightmare and somehow (unreasonably) it feels worse that a girl should have to go through such an ordeal. Such brutality should be reserved for tough young men, not girls, shouldn’t it?

 

Wrong. It made me proud to think that this girl was out there doing what she loved, in spite of the risks. Because she could, and because she chose to. Anyone who has seen the wonderful series, Puberty Blues, based on Kathy Lette’s books, will know that as late as the seventies, it was frowned upon for women to surf in certain cultures. It was seen as a man’s sport and women had to fight their way into the ocean.

 

I hope I go doing something I love, like Laeticia. I hope I go doing something that shows I was embracing my life to the full, and that I wasn’t afraid.

The Problem With Inviting People Over Is Then You Have To Clean The House

We had the surrogate family over for Easter lunch yesterday; no pressure really but it meant that my slovenly attitude to housework was at risk of exposure and that the dust on the floors may need more than a gentle push under the sofas. mini-pigs-2185058_1920

 

It’s funny how that works: how you can live in denial like a deliriously contented pig in shit for weeks and the only thing to push your shame button is the judgment from your friends. What’s even stranger is that once I commit to a clean, I get an almost perverse sense of pleasure out of it, and after thirteen house moves since the kids were born – a lifestyle choice they attribute to our general dysfunction – I’m actually not that bad at it.

 

In general, though, I give pretty much zero fucks when it comes to housework, mainly because I resent the archaic belief that it is “women’s work”, but also because at this age you realise that there are far more interesting ways to fill your time than cleaning the grout between tiles with a toothpick – such as watching Netflix and eating chocolate. NOBODY NOTICES, ANYWAY.

 

The old man does his share of the housework in our house, but badly, in the hope, I imagine, that his half-skewed attempts will be shameful enough for me to do them next time. So apart from the chores that one does to prevent the whole family coming down with gastro, the bare minimum normally has to suffice in our crib.

 

I’ve found that “training” is the key.  Usually, after six weeks, our bed sheets walk to the laundry of their own accord and “doing their own laundry” is one of the ways I’ve taught the kids about responsibility. So, in theory, all that’s left to do before guests arrive is a quick whizz around the bathrooms to pick up hair and to pop my head in the pantry for a quick head count of the moth population.

 

I am a tidy person, but cleaning is boring. It was one of the reasons I hated my maternity leave – that expectation that I would have time to clean just because I was incarcerated in the house for long periods of time. The old man might pretend to be clean, but the depth of toast crumbs and nose hair and the tesselating coffee rings on his desk tell a very different story.

 

Sometimes I think my paternal grandmother would turn in her grave if she saw how far hygiene have been compromised in our house. A mother of the fifties, she was one of those women who took pride in polishing her front doorstep until it gleamed with a brilliance that put everyone else’s in the street to shame. She used to spit on my glasses to clean them, much to my horror. She would be horrified if she knew that I’m the kind of lazy that will wipe the bathroom floor with bath towels in desperation and whose fridge only gets cleaned each time we move house.

 

Which, fortunately, is often.

 

But having said all that, the kids have rarely been at death’s door and I have always believed in building up their immunities through exposure to bacteria and dirt. In my opinion, the ‘sniff’ test” is a pretty good guide when it comes to clothes washing, especially since the old man decided that one wash a week is more than adequate. And as young adults, the kids do their own clothes washing these days, even if typically they are at opposing ends of the clean clothes spectrum – while Kurt washes his entire wardrobe every day, NC (for once her mother’s daughter) and ever the most logical of all of us, admits to reversing her undies to stretch the cycle that bit further.

Why Is My Hair Thinning In Middle Age?

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One of the greatest challenges in a woman’s life – apart from men – is to find the right hairdresser – someone who truly understands the fickleness of female hair. Once you discover your hairdresser, a bond of trust is formed that can be almost (if not more) precious than those you share with the closest members of your family. So if, (God Forbid), you decide to move, the distance to your hairdresser has to be a prime consideration. 

Although I admit that I’ve been in denial for some time, the white tiled floor of my bathroom has highlighted recently that I am losing my hair.

I was aware that hair loss is one of the symptoms of menopause but I had naively assumed that ‘thinning’ referred to the quality of the strands rather than the uglier evidence of swathes of the stuff falling on the floor whenever I brushed it.  

I’ve always had a fine head of hair considering how much I’ve abused it with chemicals, and my hair loss might be due to any number of factors such as aging, menopause, diet, the chlorine in the pool or a simple iron deficiency. The bathroom floor was the perfect canvas to ram it home to me that I might be going bald.

What started as a minor irritation, when people would brush escaped strands off my shoulders in that invasive way they do, (rather like when they wipe stray food from around your mouth), soon turned into a daily nightmare as the pools of hair began to collate on the bathroom floor. Stepping on strands of hair in bare feet is almost as unpleasant as getting old food on your hands in dirty dish water if you’re a little on the OCD side and I’m beginning to realise that this problem has the potential to turn into a real body image issue if I catastrophise about it in my usual way. I am already imagining a future with no hair on my head while the rest of my body is as hirsute as a monkey. Furthermore, I’ve studied the shape of my head in the mirror from every angle and have come to the conclusion that it unlikely I will have the sophisticated beauty of Charlize Theron in Mad Max when I am bald. 

Like the alcoholic who hides their stash of alcohol, the initial shame caused by my hair loss forced me to change the location where I brush my hair of a morning to the bedroom. There, I can camouflage the loss of my mousey strands in the darkness of the timber floor, but even I know that is not getting to the root of the problem and if I don’t find some remedy the old man could have twenty years of bald jokes to catch up on.

I’ve done my research (here) and apparently a lack of protein can be a trigger, as can stress, so I’m back eating meat and have excused myself from all housework duties on medical grounds. My suggestion that the family move out completely fell on deaf ears, but I have also discovered that heat exposure is another culprit; one that is somewhat difficult to curb in my current predicament of several hot flashes a day in spite of living in the repercussions of the latest cyclone.

In other hair news, I can recommend the movie Hackshaw Ridge as a viewing must-see, especially if you want to obsess over a head of truly marvelous hair because Andrew Garfield must have the most voluminous head of hair I’ve ever seen. It generally has its own cameo role and trailer in his movies. Rather like Donald Trump’s thatch, I have always thought that his hair appears to have a life of its own and it is easy to be distracted by it. Fortunately, his acting is good enough in this film for it not to take centre stage, unlike when it comes to Trump’s politics.

Middle Age, Weight Loss and Climate Change

If one step closer towards the end of the world is marked by Trump’s inauguration this week, then the heat wave in Sydney came a close second for me. 

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A recent aerial view of Sydney.

 

If the adult human body is made up of 60% water, there can be no biological explanation for how my weight managed to remain stubbornly at the ‘overweight for my height’ end of the scales after the amount of sweating I’ve done, even when I put on my highest heels.

 

Some of you may be aware that we Sydney-siders have suffered in temperatures close to 40 degrees CENTIGRADE this week, and perhaps you have little sympathy if hypothermia/survival is your biggest concern at the moment. But the heat has been that intense that it has even forced even me, a committed aqua-phobe, to drink gallons of the stuff, and that’s something I usually struggle with… unlike five glasses of wine, say.  

 

If  you are one of those poor sods suffering in ice storms and shovelling snow on the other side of the world, I feel your pain, but let me tell you, living in a furnace is no picnic either, particularly for us peri/menopausal women.

 

It was 30 degrees at 9am on Wednesday morning and 28 degrees throughout the night – apparently a record – yippee! – and we have no air conditioning in our house, a compromise that was made when we  prioritised giving our two young adults a room of their own each when we moved recently.

 

And did I mention that they should have left home by now? Funny how quickly priorities can change.

 

And yes, I admit that sweating excessively and unattractively is a first-world problem, but it was that hot that even the dog refused to go out for a walk, birds dropped dead from the sky and fans and oxygen tanks became impossible to find even on the black market.

 

Of course, NC, a climate scientist, basked in the glory of being right, as she held the thermometer outside her bedroom window each morning, and shot us us those smug, ‘told you so’ looks.

 

What you forget is how cranky intense heat makes you, and just how much sweat the body can actually produce when it’s put under pressure to prevent spontaneous human combustion. So how my body defied all those rules of mathematics that state that when you subtract something from a whole you are left with less, I’ll never know.

 

Sydney, once a civilised hood that has become renowned as one of the best cities in the world to live in, turned into a real-life version of Mad Max within days, its population forced to fight for every tiny breath of air, only able to find relief by standing inert in front of an open fridge door.

 

Mrs Woog summed it up better than me in this hilarious post:

 

Personally, I try not to moan too much, what with my NY resolution about gratitude, and on the whole I still prefer the heat to the cold. The onset of the symptoms of dehydration do give you an excuse to drink more wine.

 

 

 

When Your Kids Selfishly Decide To Become Vegetarian

For the third time in her short life, NC has decided to give up meat and become a pescatarian.

 

tuna-576938_1280She is an environmental vegetarian which is apparently the practice of vegetarianism or veganism based on the indications that animal production, particularly by intensive farming, is environmentally unsustainable. Industrialised agriculture contributes on a “massive scale” to global warming, air pollution, land degradation, energy use, deforestation, and biodiversity declines. It is estimated that the livestock sector (including poultry) contributes to about 18 percent of global GHG emissions expressed as 100-year CO2 equivalents. According to Wikipedia.

 

As an aspiring climate scientist, who Mr Trump and Mr Turnball should be highly fearful of, NC feels it’s time to make a personal stand.

 

Which, while all well and good, (and myself and the old man count ourselves as supportive parents), it was predictably hard to prevent the eye roll  when she informed us about it and the telepathic question might have passed between us as to who would buy the bacon this time – a surefire way to persuade our daughter to stop being so selfish making mealtimes hell on earth to plan for.

 

Unfortunately, she seems more rigid about her principles this time.

 

I respect and value everyone’s choices in this world as long as it doesn’t affect me too much. I’m happy to go to vegetarian restaurants with my veggo friends – perhaps made easier because I’m quite partial to veggies in general as well as having certain somewhat embarrassing issues with red meat (see this post) – but I refuse to pay an arm and a leg for a piece of wild salmon or get the old man to fish for fresh tuna for our “picky pesky”.

 

Because although she eats fish, she will only eat certain types of fish now, and tuna, the lazy/cheapskate cook’s answer to getting fish down your kids’ necks, is off the menu completely.

 

Such limitations have had ramifications for the House Bitch who can be somewhat of a prima donna and is freaking the fuck out because he plans the meals, does the food shopping and occasionally pretends to cook. And for a man who finds Spaghetti Bolognese a stretch of his culinary skills, food without meat is a real conundrum.

 

In fairness to NC, she has offered to cook more often now and has produced several interesting vegetarian meals over the past weeks, which included a spaghetti dish where the only other ingredient was wilted spinach. As you can imagine, the boys raved about it, rubbing their tummies with glee and satiation until the minute NC turned her back and they ran to the fridge in search of protein.

 

She seems to be fairing quite well on what is effectively a cheese and egg diet and I’ve only seen any sign of her principles cracking once, when we came together for our traditional kebab night on Thursday. The smell and sight of those juicy beef slices dripping from the edges of our pitta bread, while falafel crumbled pathetically from her own, produced a look on her face akin to that of most of the world when Trump won the presidency. Disappointment at how much political choice can truly suck.