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I’m passionate about sustainability and saving the planet, and I also really love food, so a book that’s focused around both topics is something I’d naturally be interested in. Food Waste Philosophy by Bristol-based chef Shane Jordan is an interesting read on how the two focuses can work together.
“Transform the way you think about food… ‘Food Waste Philosophy’ is a unique book that deals with food in a way no other book has. Disclosing the truth behind food, and how our food affects our lives, Shane Jordan documents his relationship with food from childhood to the present day. He discusses his thoughts on food waste, education, sustainability and environmental issues. In addition, he shares anecdotes and stories of his own experiences, and his philosophy on cooking and creativity. This reflective book allows you to see things from a different perspective, and question your assumptions and the views you hold. ‘Food Waste Philosophy’ will transform your way of thinking by allowing you to question everything you thought was correct.”
(Taken from Amazon)
Two things really stood out to me about Shane Jordan whilst reading Food Waste Philosophy – firstly, that he’s really quite passionate about both food waste and food, with his whole career being focused around the two concepts, and secondly, that he’s committed to being as open and tolerant whilst promoting his pursuit as possible. He’s the exact opposite of preaching, instead sincere and accepting, and this approach works very well for me – being told to do something or face the consequences can be off-putting and put one in defensive mode, whereas suggestions and ideas are much more likely to impact the reader positively, giving them real food for thought (pun fully intended).
The book is an easy read from start to finish, with a chatty writing style that portrays Jordan’s character well. It’s fairly short, but split into digestible chapters that make it easy to pick up as you please and refer back to later. The cover accentuates this easygoing vibe – I love the colour scheme that’s used, and the photo of the chef author makes him come across as approachable and positive, which is what we really need from spokespersons for sustainability right now (I don’t know about you, but I’ve noticed a lot of anger and negativity related to eco issues of late).
Before reading the book I was under the impression that it would be a fairly factual experience (which it is when covering guidelines for the reader) however it’s really a much more autobiographical read than a flat-out guide. I liked this style as it gives a real insight into the mind of Jordan and why he’s become so passionate about food waste. We learn that it’s not something he was always focused on, but rather became invested in through several different experiences within his life. These realisations show him as a real, down-to-earth person, rather than someone who is simply there to promote a cause and nothing else.
Despite not being a guide there are still some useful tips and ideas for those looking to start reducing their food waste, plus a great collection of recipes at the back that really help to use up excess food. One of these includes his famous banana skin curry, a recipe I’ve never even thought of making before but am excited to try. It also raises awareness of people doing good within the food industry, including the wonderful FoodCycle who tackle hunger and loneliness with surplus food. I loved that this was such a key focus of the book, however I would have liked more in-depth guidelines for those of us who have already got somewhere with reducing our food waste but really want to take it to the next level. I did learn things from the book, but not as much as I had hoped (however I noticed that I was doing a lot of his suggestions already, which made me feel good about myself!). Perhaps this could be a good idea for a follow-up book, as this would definitely be something I’d want to purchase.
Food Waste Philosophy is a short book (I read it in a day) however it contains useful information for those starting out with reducing their food waste, plus a real understanding of why the author is committed to what he does. After reading I felt inspired to get more involved with reducing my own household’s food waste – the book is perfect for anyone wanting to feel the same, plus its focus on vegetarian and vegan food makes it suitable for readers of any diet/lifestyle.
If you’d like to purchase a copy of Food Waste Philosophy then you can do so here:
“Shane Jordan is a vegetarian chef and education practitioner from Bristol. Apart from his interest in recycling and environmental issues, Shane specializes in creating imaginative meals from surplus food. He began cooking seriously when he was asked to prepare vegetarian cuisine for the Harbourside Market in Bristol. The success of his cooking prompted him to cook professionally in cafés, and for events and banquets throughout the South West.
Shane is also using his culinary skills to cook meals for homeless shelters and raise money for charitable organizations. His interest in food waste started when he was first introduced to the registered charity FoodCycle. After learning about food waste issues, Shane decided to find a way to reduce waste by creating meals from vegetable and fruit skins. From this point, Shane started to take an interest in sustainability and environmental issues, becoming knowledgeable about this subject and working with environmental groups and collaborating with local councils.
Shane has a passion for education, working in schools and childcare settings and spreading the green message – he is dedicated to showing that dealing with environmental issues can be a fun and interesting experience.”
(Taken from Shane’s website)
Is food waste something you’re actively trying to reduce, or is a goal for the future? Let me know in the comments, and don’t forget to like and pin! You can read some of my other non-fiction reviews here: