Wednesday, July 16, 2008

"British are asked to save their leftovers"

Full English, originally uploaded by staple diet.

"Evoking an era of World War II austerity, British families are being urged to cut food waste and use leftovers in a nationwide effort to fight sharply rising global food prices," reports the St Louis Dispatch.

Did they really have to ask?

Um, yes.

Eleven years ago I married a Brit and seeing as I was marrying someone from the Motherland, I took for granted we'd have no significant cultural clashes to overcome. Calling an elevator a "lift," the TV a "telly," saying TO-MAH-TOES instead of TO-MAY-TOS and deeming something stupid "schtoopid when we checked our "shedule" struck me as charming. Going to "Hospital" instead of the hospital. Putting on your "swimming costume" instead of your bathing suit, etc. etc. Finding the same exact breakfast placed before you every day wherever you are in England. Realizing my husband was not necessarily rude, he was English. Whew.

I've since come to love Branston pickle, Jaffa cakes, Yorkshire pudding and Twigletts but still don't get the Marmite, Spaghettios or baked beans topped with fried eggs on toast thing. When he first arrived on our shores, my husband blissfully consumed his first serving of ribs at a summer picnic, chasing it down with an entire bucket of coleslaw, though he still can barely tolerate Mexican food (and what could be more American than that!)

However, for the last twelve years, I have endured duress, persecution, derision and harassment at the end of every meal we've eaten out at a restaurant. The source of contention? Doggie bags. I bring home the two or three extra meals left on my plate.
Brits don't DO doggie bags and look askance at those who do. They throw away the heaps of food left on their plates at American restaurants without a single twinge for the children starving in the third world country of your conscience.

Once, when Wayne and I had traveled to England and were staying with his aunt who had prepared us a full on English roast dinner (all that time! all that effort! all those pounds of the monetary sort!) my eyes bugged out when, after clearing the dishes, I watched the roast, the peas, the cooked carrots, all the doings, slide in gravy trails down plates tipped toward the bin. When Wayne's uncle arrived home from his hospital shift a couple of hours later he had to make himself a lousy sandwich while the lovely roast cooled amidst the potato peels. I was beyond speechless, I was sputtering. This did not compute. My English in-laws were equally apalled by my riffraff insistence on carting home every last crust of bread.

But now the British government itself is urging its citizens to use leftovers! You can eat the roast beef for lunch tomorrow. Think of the time you'll save, the effort, the Euros! The next thing you know we'll see parliament throw off those powered wigs and lug stacks of smelly stryofoam boxes home from the chip shop.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

no one will comply, they will all say BOLLOCKS! being that another brit pastime is to this if someone says do that. its the way it is.

as for that pic, makes me wanna dive into the screen and nosh the lot. balls to anyone oo finks it looks orrible!

lizzie II