As a student, it’s easy to feel intimidated at the prospect of trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle on a budget, particularly when also trying to make ethical and ecologically-friendly choices. However, one up-and-coming foodie may just have cracked it. Shane Jordan is a Bristol-based vegetarian chef and author, known for his work in minimising food waste by creating dishes using leftover fruit and vegetables. He has been described as a ‘pioneer’ for his imaginative approach to cuisine and has recently released a cookery book, Food Waste Philosophy, to encourage the public to do likewise.
Shane describes his book as ‘about food waste, vegetarianism and my views on cooking and the food industry in general’. He goes on to emphasise that he’s also keen to share his experiences: ‘I chronicle the work I have done working with students, the homeless and the general public to give the reader a sense of where I come from and why I do this type of work in the first place’.
Shane’s passion is clear, and he hopes he will be able to have a big impact on the way we eat in Britain. ‘There is no one doing the work I’m doing, and being as active. I would like the nation to question things and actively seek knowledge on food waste issues,’ Shane told The Student.
A strong advocate of leading by example, Shane elaborates, ‘I showed an active interest in food waste by watching hardworking students volunteer for FoodCycle. I was never preached to or persuaded to take an interest in food waste or recycling, but instead was shown by example what great things you can do with wasted food. This could be using edible leftover food as an additional meal, or recycling food waste by means of home composting or anaerobic digestion provided by the local council’. Indeed, outside the kitchen, Shane is involved with a number of UK waste-reduction initiatives, including the Waste & Resources Action Programme, FoodCycle, Vegfest UK, and Love Food, Hate Waste.
When asked about financial barriers to living in an eco-friendly way, Shane claims there are none. ‘There was nothing hard or difficult about being eco-friendly on a budget [as a student], depending on how far you are going to take it. Everything in life has levels so if you set yourself your own milestone, goal or level then you are regulating your own progress based on what’s comfortable for you,’ he continues, ‘If you only buy organic food that is local and fresh, and all your items are only purchased at local market stores or whole food stores then it can be very difficult and expensive. I shopped at well-known supermarkets and focussed on reducing my food waste as a personal goal. You shouldn’t be pressured into becoming eco-friendly in everything to feel you are making a change’.
Image: Newtown grafitti [Flickr]