Whats it all about?

Starvation Diet is an art/life project started by artist Beth Barlow in October 2009. This next generation blog is contributed to by other people who have joined in with the project as it has gone along, choosing to resist foods they don't really need and give the money to others who are in more need. If you wish to join in and be a contributor please e mail me at bethbarlow@bethbarlow.com The original starvation diet blog can be found by clicking on the link in the links section of this page.

Thursday, 14 October 2010


The total given from the next generation during their one week stint was £46.90. Good amount for 3 people doing just a bit of resisting.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

muchas gracias

Many Thanks to Vicki, Gemma and my Mum for trying the Starvation Diet for a week. Will post an update on the money raised through this exercise in the next few days.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

free food for all

yesterday as it was glorious weather I met up with me old mad Scottish mate who's an excellent forager and who is going to give me some of her starter for sourdough bread ! after cheekily asking for some toast and refuse coffee. Les and I head out to a community space and scrump the quinces and meddlers, at this point we feel quite good about the urban foraging exhibition . Our next spot leads us to a housing estate and we have an abundance of sloes and haw berries, a man asks us what we are doing so we show him and les in forms him the reason we are doing this is because we are witches ! We explain what to do with the sloes and that you can use a whole host of alcohol, I think we have convinced him to have a go as he has that look of consideration and that we are not mental. He then tips us off about some hazel trees, not a bad exchange of knowledge really. We head off for another wildlife corridor , this bit proves that les is mad we had to go all jungle and battle our way through think grasses/rushes that were at least seven foot high for 20 minutes and thought is it really worth it and I also stated that I didn't like it and can we go back! we come out of the grasses to the sight of a massive crab apple tree which are all shine red , but on closer inspection are scabbed quiet badly me move on to the next tree a little further and the fruit is in perfect condition , we spot a wild eating apple tree and have an apple to eat , whilst collecting the crab apples which should not be eaten raw! as we walk we see more and more crab apple trees , and come across hazel trees that have not been found by squirrels!!!!!!!!!!!! there is also an abundance of blackberries and mulberries, but I'm not over keen on these so I concentrate on the hazels.

we have been foraging for seven and half hours and have an excellent booty of food . This makes me wonder about how people in the UK have lost the ability to tune into the seasons and forage for food. In countries such as Africa, South America and India, the survival skill of foraging for Food is still being practised widely by those who have no money to by food. Yet in the UK foraging is seen as a middle class activity for those not suffering from food poverty.

Friday, 10 September 2010

and so the cookie well shortbread crumbles

Yesterday was exhausting as I had a full day of foraging , so breakfast of a yogurt, banana, and a cup of mint tea was had and off out in the wilds of blaengarw with a small group of lovely people, we collected a great booty of hazel nuts, sloes, haw berrys, blackberries, rosehips, and rowan berries. Its so exciting foraging for food ! we break for lunch and I have a banana and we head up to the farm for more foraging we get up to the farm after a long walk, we arrive to the wonderful smell and sights of karens baking....................i could not resist lemon drizzle cake and shortbread. I felt guilt and a strong sense of that I would abstain from the treats before we got there. At the time I felt ok about it as I felt i needed a sugar hit and didn't want to seem rude by refusing cakes that had specifically been baked for the group which went from 9 people to 3. i had a chicken salad wrap for tea instead of a big cooked meal to compensate. I feel I have let myself down a bit now .

Today is proving difficult as I'm working from home and have access to the kitchen, so far today I have had toast , a plum, mint tea, fruit juice and some hummus and crackers. i think the weekend will prove difficult as i consider the weekend as a time to have wine .

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

stale bread

Neil (hubby) made me breakfast this morning of sourdough bread toast and butter, but i had to refuse it not because of the starvation diet but because I had just taken my medication and leave for the long drive to work. At work I have my breakfast of banana and a yogurt. I'm still struggling with the fruit and luxury thing , normally I would be proud of my healthy eating today I'm a little sadden as the pleasure i get from eating food is slowly slipping away through my questioning my food choices. I have a busy morning and forget all about food until lunch, this was a huge disappointment as I had my been looking forward to my tuna fish sandwich and banana ( and yes I have a weird habit of eating them together) I take my first bite and the bread is stale, and has taken on that slightly must flavour. I debate chucking it in the bin but think about people i have seen going into bins and eating what they find, and I don't mean bin hoppers or the chefs that did a programme about it the other week. I'm talking about people who eat food that has been half consumed and thrown away in a bin at the side of the road. I decide to perceive with the sandwich, normally i wouldn't bin it. 3pm i feel the urge for chocolate and nearly give in to it , it soon passes and I have saved my soul again for the evils of chocolate. I'm not sure how long this will last , but my new tactic will be to think about or read a bit about child slave labour and cocoa production.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

3 mint tea

Although i have two cups a coffee a day, the double espresso in the house before i trudge to work I haven't noticed missing (she says on day 2) on the other hand my double shop cappuccino from the cafe in work , i think it must be the social interaction and the mid morning escape from the continual wittering on of the Future Job Funders (aka YTS) and Betty, that I am starting to miss. So instead I have a refreshing 3 mint tea , i like this tea and drink it as my main tea at the moment ....but it's not coffee !

I still feel guilty about having fruit, this is partly because I know so many families don't give their kids fruit to eat as it is considered expensive, funny how money can be found for cigarettes or a pint ! I pondered on food poverty and the 5 a day campaign, this leads me on to think about the Fareshare project and wonder when its finally going to be set up in Wales and the benefit it provides to so many families and individuals. I quietly rant to myself.

I didn't share my lunch today as I was feeling grumpy about the lack of coffee, so baked beans on toast for one was made and consumed.

The afternoon brought hunger, and good news about a De minimis issue for a food project which has gone on for what seems like a life time. Initial thoughts.... celebrate with chocolate after all you are Hungry! I managed to resist by questioning if i was really hungry and that a person who had no money to food would probably not choose chocolate if they were hungry and had money.

I had a panic on the way home as I had to get petrol and go pass the tempting rows of yummy crap, calling to me as i try and pay . I get to the pump and can pay there instead of going into the kiosk , it all goes pear shape and i end up having to go pass the chocolate . I manage to resist but nearly give in to a pack of soft mints, panic sets in and i nearly lock my pin number on the card .....I almost have sweats by the time I return to the car.

I get home finally, slightly over do tea by having a modest salad but more bread than I should , I feel guilty again, time for another 3 mint tea .

Neil informs me that he is at his mums for tea tomorrow, I think I'll join Beth in a bowl of porridge .

Monday, 6 September 2010

sourdough and tantrums

I got up this morning did the usual routine, went downstairs to let my beloved Cally Cat out and started to attempt to get the sourdough starter I have be nurturing over the last 3 weeks to finally do something other than to turn out like a stone.

I have carefully made the sponge and now the the dough is waiting for me to knock the living daylights out of it, As I'm doing this I start to think about the women all over the world who make this staple for the family and I feel rather good about what I'm doing. I leave the dough to prove while I head out to the wilds of Blaengarw for a joyous day of work ......I hit traffic so I have a think about this starvation diet and wonder how Beth is getting on with her rice and porridge menu. I get to work and instantly start itching to get my lovely milky coffee , to distract me from this urge I start my breakfast of fruit. This brings on the what is luxury food question. I decide that fruit is a luxury and feel a bit guilty, but convince myself its OK because it would be a far worse thing to let the fruit rot and be wasted, after all I bought the fruit last week so it wasn't an unnecessary purchase and is fine to eat.

Lunch time arrives, I could do the easy option and go to the cafe but opted for going to the co-op and buying a loaf and some baked beans, the tins a bit big for me so I see Betty with a cuppa soup and ask if she would like to share my lunch. I'm feeling quite charitable now !

I have a stressful afternoon, throw a tantrum and want cake so badly. Five minutes later I was told a large box had arrived for me, my reply is I only want it if its got cake in it ! On opening the box I discover equipment to make cakes , oh the irony and the cake craving passes.

I got home about 6.30pm and wrestled with the sourdough , and throw another silent tantrum when the rather odd looking bread comes out of the oven after tea and I secretly want chocolate cake again!

Cash knocked up today £2.95
1.45 - coffee
75p slice of cake x 2