Kate Livingstone: Dishing up a view on takeaway meals

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I’m not sure if the results of a survey showing that almost half of adults in Central Scotland order takeaway food every week surprises me or not.

It seems that the average annual spend of food to go is over £450 annually – with some people forking out £1200 for the privilege of not having to do the cooking – and probably not the washing up either!

Apparently as a nation we spend a staggering £1.2 billion every year on takeaways ... that’s a lot of chips, pizza, rice and noodles.

It probably doesn’t surprise me given that you only have to walk along any main street in our towns and villages to see a plethora of outlets offering takeaway meals.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to enjoy a Chinese carryout, pizza or fish supper occasionally. Sometimes it’s a pay-day treat and sometimes it’s because I really can’t be bothered cooking after a busy day at work or with the grandchildren.

However, it’s definitely a treat.

Rest assured that I wouldn’t class myself as a curtain twitcher BUT I can’t help but notice there’s a neighbour in our street who seems to live on takeaways! It seems that every teatime there is some sort of delivery or he comes in clutching the distinctive white carrier bag that you get this food wrapped in.

He’s a chap living on his own but surely he could either cook something or heat up a microwave ‘ping’ meal?

And I know that there’s a cooker plus a microwave in his flat because he rents it from the family of friends of mine.

“Honestly mum what are you bothered about?” said Emma when I happened to say this to her one day.

“Surely he’s entitled to do what he likes with his money.”

“But that’s the point Emma. Does he realise how much he is spending and how it would be so much cheaper to cook? Even whisking up an omelette doesn’t take much time or effort.

“And it would be much better for him!

“Anyway, don’t they teach people how to cook at school nowadays?” I retorted, more than a little annoyed that my ‘neighbourly’ interest was being misconstrued ...

“Mother, it’s none of your business but yes, I do agree with you – for once. It would safe him money and be far better for him if he cut down on takeaways.”

Now I’m just wondering if I would get away with sticking some of these supermarket recipe cards through his letterbox!