When Tristram Stuart was born the angels must have known he was destined for great things.
He is an inspiration. A maverick. A darn nice dude. A scavenger, activist, Cambridge Graduate, long-haired protester and a FREEGAN.
So what is a Freegan?
It’s a Tristram Stuart type bloke who takes waste food from the supermarkets and proves that there is life after a sell by date. He does not encourage everyone to eat out of a skip but he asks us all to be aware that millions and millions of human beings on this Planet are malnourished. We can all help by not being so greedy. WASTE NOT WANT NOT. If the health and safety merchants took the thumb screws off retailers so that food, which is perfectly edible, gets distributed to the needy rather than being thrown away, binned, dumped, elbowed WASTED we would all be better off. The thought of so much waste gives me a belly ache, what Tristam does is write about it. Waste: Uncovering the Global Food Scandal is an important read, a book for you, your children and grandchildren so that we can really start to make a dent into food porn.
I was delighted to see that he lives about ten minutes away from the cottage in The Ashdown Forest. I cannot wait to meet him, hug him and sign up as a card carrying member of the no waste brigade. His quote was as simple as this:
BUY WHAT YOU NEED AND EAT WHAT YOU BUY.
as simple as that.
I also learnt a huge amount about organ donation today. A young 22 year old who had been drinking since he was 11 died at 5pm yesterday for lack of a liver. The people who have to make these decisions, about who gets the next organ, are between a rock and a hard place. Certain criteria has to be met before the gift of life is given.
A baby with liver failure?
An adult with hep.C?
An alcoholic who has a 75% chance of survival but who is too ill to make the grade. An alcoholic has to be dry for at least 6 months before they are even considered as a recipient. We humans have come a long way but to have play God must be devastatingly difficult. Every caller was either angry or sympathetic, priority was the general consensus. It was important that we remembered that alcoholism is an illness, no alcoholic wants to die of liquor poisening.
One caller who had had a liver transplant talked about his love of tomatoes and strawberries since his op. He had no interest in them before. Chris Lowrie donated a kidney to his sister who, before the transplant, had no interest in physical exercise, now that she has a bit of her brother in her she frequents her local gym.
The gift of life spread into the last hour when we talked about adoption. A Christian pediatrician has abstained from voting on a panel because she believes that children should not be brought up by same sex couples. Some of you spouted a load of homophobic twaddle but most of my callers were reasonable loving natives. Like me, they believed that anybody who can give a loving home whether black, white, gay, straight or disabled, should be welcomed with open arms.
So after a day like to day I was knackered. I took Siddhi the Kraut to ‘Fortnum and Masons’ for tea, we abandoned it because the price was not right and the attmosphere felt like a mess hall.
We walked back up Piccadilly to Waterstones book shop, took the lift to the fifth floor and sat looking over london. I had two coffees – this has got to stop my intestines cant take it – a bowl of hummous, crunchy green olives and two pitta breads. Siddihi had a strawberrry yoghurt smoothie and rhubarb crumble. Mmmm, ya! Which one is the healthiest? I ask. But which one of us looks like a tiny doll? Ya, you’ve guessed it the Hamburger looks tasty on her diet of sugare and spice whilst the aging Englisher doesn’t.
I walked up Burlington Arcade and studied the jewellry in the shop windows. None of them had price tags on. That’s because they couldn’t fit on all the noughts.
We walked down to The Trafalgar Studios to see MOUNTAINTOP a new two hander. David Harewood played Martin Luther King on the eve of his assassination. His leading actress was Lorraine Burroughs. Rare to find beauty and genuine talent in one packet, Ms Burroughs has it in abundance. The play is magnificent, written by Katori Hall, a triumph of theatricality and damn good acting.
I’m a useless critic I never know why I like something and am always worried in case I’ve got it wrong. In this case I don’t care. The audience were of one mind, within a second of the play ending we all jumped to our feet and gave the twosome a standing ovation, they deserved it. 85 minutes of thought provoking theatre. Lovely.
By the time I got back to the flat I was totally bamboozled. Had one avocado and a bowl of bean sprouts cooked on a high heat and flavoured with tamari, a delicious fermented soybean sauce.
Which reminds me That tamari, and tamari, and tamari,
Creeps in this petty pace so its bed for me……