Rewind just 50 years when kitchens consisted of dry goods in jars, bulk meats stored in large freezer chests and imperfect looking fruit & veg – often grown organically, and we begin to realise that Zero Waste is not so much a futuristic idea but more of a homage to a more simple era.
If we take this lens to our kitchens today it’s easy to see the steps to take just by asking ourselves, what would our nan’s kitchen have looked like?
Back in the 40s and 50s everything in the kitchen was made to be reused. Think linen napkins being laid out on the dinner table, quality fine china plates and hard wearing cutlery, cloths used in place of paper towel, and storage containers in lieu of plastic wrap.
Cups of tea were poured from teapots using loose leaf tea and there were no such thing as bin liners – the bin was simply washed with a bit of soapy water.
A chook bucket for food scraps was almost always a feature, pantry staples were bought in reusable glass jars and the fruit and veg was one degree of separation from the farmer to the customer, by way of the green grocer (that’s assuming it hadn’t been harvested in the backyard).
Bread was bought in cotton bread bags, and meat was wrapped in brown paper and sold alongside a chat about the weather and advice on the best cooking instructions.
Slices and cakes were proudly made at home and served for afternoon tea, and most jams and sauces were made from scratch using three or four ingredients.
Of course we can’t all live like 1950’s housewives but well… it’s a nice thought isn’t it?