Lenny and the Ants

Book review – Lenny and the Ants + Giveaway

Congratulations to “chers” who was the winner of this giveaway – please check your inbox for an email from me!

The team at OzHarvest sent me a copy of their new delightful and positive picture book Lenny and the Ants. If you haven’t heard of OzHarvest they are an amazing Australian charity that collects over 100 tonnes of quality excess food per week from supermarkets, cafes and restaurants. This food gets delivered to over 1300 charitable organisations servicing vulnerable Australians. OzHarvest chefs transform some of the collected surplus food into delicious meals – which are also distributed – saving good food from landfill.

I am pretty passionate about food wastage. With my menu planning I keep food waste super low, but I have lots of discussions with the kids about food waste. I encourage them to make realistic amounts of food for their snacks / meals and then make more if they are still hungry rather than over cooking and turfing out food they don’t eat.

In Australia, it is estimated that $20 billion a year is spent on wasted food and 5 million tonnes of it becomes landfill. OzHarvest plans to eliminate half the amount of food wasted in Australia by 2030. This book is a step in making that goal happen. The book Lenny and the Ant is a great vehicle to start conversations on food waste with younger kids.

The 10 year old and I read the book together and chatted about some of the ways we  prevent food waste at home and what are some things we can do better at. The illustrations in the book are gorgeous and the rhyming text makes it fun to read. The text is simple and easy for young kids to understand while still explaining how we can waste food without really giving it any thought and how with some creativity we can prevent food waste at home.

At the end of the book there are fab recipes showing how you can use up squishy tomatoes, hard bread, black bananas and floppy carrots. There is also an encouraging message at the end from CEO and Founder of OzHarvest Ronni Kahn on what families can do to help with food waste. He explains that when we waste food, we are wasting much more than just the food we throw out and food waste has a significant impact on the environment.

Food waste which ends up in landfill creates methane gas which is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide. We compost our food scraps at home, so the youngest and I went out to take a look at it after reading the book. While he is pretty good at putting waste in the correct bins (we have compost, recycling, soft plastics and rubbish), talking to him about the impact of food in the rubbish bin wasn’t something I had really done. He is aware of climate change and so it was good to give him a concrete activity that he can do to help reduce his impact on the environment.

I can highly recommend buying the book as a gift for your child or other children in your life. Not only will they get something out of it, but others will too – proceeds from the sale of each book will allow OzHarvest to deliver 80 meals to vulnerable Australians. Lenny and the Ants is available to buy from the OzHarvest website.


Lenny and the Ants

One lucky reader can win a copy of Lenny and the Ants. Complete the form below to be in the running! (If you are reading via email and cannot see the form, please click here.)