On the Third Day of Christmas – from poultry to parsnips

For what seems like time immemorial, it has been the tradition for many to imagine a roast dinner as a key part of the Christmas experience. But what if that all changes?

On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me three French hens…

We often consider Christmas to be a time to bend the rules a little, to enjoy good food and drink with our loved ones, merry at having made it through another year. For obvious reasons, Christmas 2020 is a festive season unlike any other, but the current climate isn’t the only thing that might provoke much discussion at the dinner table.

The traditional Christmas roast, for example, might be a little bit more different than what we’re used to, moving forward. Before we look to the future, what are our current festive eating habits, and how might we change them, as time goes by?

Waste not, want not

The Big Issue revealed in 2018 that as many as two million turkeys go to waste each Christmas, while also unveiling that as many as half of Brits admit overspending on food during the festive season. As a result, an awful lot of the hard-earned money we spend to furnish our dinner tables at Christmas is often something of a waste.

One of the things we can do to minimise food waste and be kinder to the planet is get savvier when it comes to sourcing the key ingredients for a tasty Christmas dinner. If you can’t resist all the trimmings, it pays to source your poultry through organic farms.


The Soil Association gives organic poultry farmers their seal of approval, as this guarantees that the bird you choose was well-nurtured, well-fed and had all-round good treatment during its life. This can mean the chicken or turkey you consume was reared on a healthy diet free from genetically-modified feed.

In addition, picking chickens and turkeys that roam in a free-range farm means they are sourced from smaller flock sizes, and there was no need for the use of antibiotics during their rearing. This means a healthier meal all round, come Christmas.

Alternatives to the traditional roast

Perhaps the idea of a traditional Christmas roast is a bit overdone for you and your household, this Christmas? If you’re thinking of trying something a little out of the ordinary, it might be worth considering a meat-free Christmas dinner. A nut roast could be a healthier but equally sizable feast for all the family.

If you’re worried about having to chuck out large quantities of wasted food this Christmas, it might be time to reconsider your whole approach. To minimise food waste, a simple bit of smart shopping ahead of Christmas can mean simply reusing leftovers from previous meals, to produce something new the next day.

Rather than throwing away all that leftover turkey or chicken, how about just baking it into a tasty pie the next day, or some nice sandwiches to keep people going through the week? Not only does it save on food waste – you can also save some extra pennies, as you won’t have to buy more than you need.

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