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Food Industry Opinion

Turn Back The Clock How lessons from the past can help our future


What lessons have you learnt from family and friends from a generation or more ago, which can help you in the kitchen? If we turn back the clock, can this help our future?

Turn Back The Clock How lessons from the past can help our future


"There are lessons we have learnt from war-time rationing that have helped our sustainability goals. "
Rosalind Rathouse



Recently my family discovered a photo from the 1960’s, of my husband and I outside of Sainsbury’s proudly carrying sturdy paper bags. Those were the days when plastic bags and plastic packaging were not an issue. 

Fifty years people easily managed in kitchens without products like cling film. At Cookery School we follow the footsteps of our parents and grandparents and cover bowls in the fridge with plates of varying sizes, which prevents smells leaching out and contaminating of flavours in the fridge.

We also buy glass containers with heavy-duty plastic lids – hopefully these will soon become silicone-based – as these can be used in fridge, freezer and ovens. They last for ages, we had many of them for well over ten years and they are still going strong.  We even have large stainless-steel bowls with fitted plastic lids which allow us to store large quantities of stocks without ever having to even make us think of using plastic film.

There are also lessons we have learnt from war-time rationing that have helped our sustainability goals. Wartime ads by OXO encouraged people to save vegetable water to use in stocks and gravies. At Cookery School we also use vegetable peelings and bones to make the most delicious stock.

When it comes to cooking, we advocate many of the methods people from fifty years ago saw as commonplace.  Efficient food planning and preparation, batch cooking, good food storage and we are always finding creative ways to use up leftovers and seasonal gluts.

Find out more about our views on how turning back the clock in the kitchen can help our future on our blog. We also run very popular food waste cookery classes. As the old adage goes, waste not, want not!

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