Our September meeting on Tuesday 15 September was our annual Grow Off and Bake Off competitions, and we also had a talk by nutritional therapist Clare Millar.

WI business came first, with the following updates

  • We are having a fundraising Quiz on Friday 16 October at the Station Kitchen in the centre of town. Tickets cost £10 including food, with veggie and gluten free options. You can enter a team or individually to be joined up with others to form a team. There are 6 rounds in the quiz, and 1 round is WI themed. There winners will get a mystery prize! See Lisa Branney for tickets.
  • India Rabey and Hayley Lambert are doing a charity skydive for Mothers for Mothers. Their fundraising target is £500 each.
  • We will soon be voting to nominate a charity for next year, so think about potential charities that we could support.
  • Next month, we will revisit Inspirational Women and Random Acts of Kindness.
  • The Crafty Women exhibition is on at the M-Shed this weekend.
  • Our resolution was accepted at the WI Centenary Fair, which was to raise awareness and lobby governments and providers against plastic beads in cosmetics which cause environmental pollution affecting animals and people.
  • Our Christmas Party is on Tuesday 8 December at Zazu’s on Gloucester Rd. We have exclusive use of the venue for the night. The cost is £29.95 for 3 courses including a glass of fizz on arrival. There will be music and fun. Sign up tonight with payment from October.
  • October’s meeting will be the AGM and Octoberfest. Sign up for a stall to sell your wares or promote a cause close to your heart. Non members can take a stall for £25, proceeds to our charity.
  • Judy Gowenlock works for the charity Carers Support Centre. In October, they are having a national fundraising campaign for young carers with a big breakfast on 22 October at the Vassall Centre. Ask Judy for details of how to get involved.
  • The WI Centenary Flash Mob are being interviewed for Loose Women tomorrow. The flash mob are giving away cake outside the Houses of Parliament to publicise the WI.

We then had a talk from nutritional therapist Clare Millar who runs a nutritional consultancy called Eat for Victory. Clare is inspired by the 1940s and the good health enjoyed by the nation during rationing.

Clare’s passion for food began when she lived on a vineyard in New Zealand and enjoyed fishing and foraging for food. She had no TV or computer and was very healthy and happy.

This led to a realisation that eating natural food is best and that we were healthiest as a nation during the 1940s, when people tended to cook from scratch, and did not eat microwaved food and highly processed fast food and too much sugar.

During and after the second world war, the British Government promoted seasonal and local food through the Dig for Victory initiative and educated the population on how to eat healthily and how to use your rations.

During the war, Britain produced 75% of its own food whereas we now import 50% of our food and 80% of our fruit and veg and estimates suggest that 40% of all food is wasted.

Clare spent a month living on the rations allocated to one person during the war and wrote a blog about it – see www.eatforvictory.co.uk

Clare’s budget for the month was £5 per day for 3 meals, which she was able to keep to.

During the war and rationing years afterwards, the population enjoyed organic and seasonal food and appreciated food more and wasted less.

Clare’s food rules are as follows

  • Make food a priority
  • Use a slow cooker and batch cook to save time
  • Spend more but buy less to cut down on waste
  • Choose seasonal food and cheaper cuts of meat.
  • Treats should be occasional
  • Use up all food you buy
  • Plan ahead
  • Only buy what you need.

We then had a tasting session for our Bake Off and Grow Off competitions – Clare judged the Bake Off and Lucy from the Golden Hill Community Garden judged the Grow Off.