What you can do to save the great British Sandwich

| 30th August 2006


When on the move, choose independent shops and delis who will make your sandwich fresh, over supermarket or chemist chains selling pre-packaged sandwiches. Yes some independents are better than others, so don’t be afraid to ask where they buy their ingredients.


Pool lunch funds with colleagues at work (or get your company to pay!) to buy good quality lunch ingredients for the staff kitchen every week.  Use a box scheme to have them delivered, or make a rota for bringing them in on Monday mornings. You can take it in turns to make lunch for the whole group, prepare lunch together, or simply buy enough for everyone to make a good lunch of their own from what’s there.


Wherever possible buy fresh bread for sandwiches from a local independent, health food store or bakery.  It tastes better and is free from preservatives and additives. Afraid it will go stale? Cut it into 2 or 3 small loaves and freeze it.

Always select produce native to your country and in season, preferably within 100 miles of your house.  If tomatoes aren’t in season where you live, make a different kind of sandwich! (Allowing for uncontrollable cravings).

‘Wrap’ your sandwich in a reusable lunch box, or other reusable wrapping so there’s less to throw away.

Resist the urge to buy huge jars of pre-made mayonnaise. Instead mix-up a small batch fresh for your lunch as you would make dressing for a salad. Try our recipe below.

Recipe for Fresh Mayonnaise

2 egg yolks
 1 ½ Tsp dry English mustard
 Salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper (optional)
 ¼ cup white vinegar
 ¾ pint oil (veg or olive)
3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice (optional)

• Warm the oil.
• Whisk together egg yolks, mustard and vinegar. (Or use blender at high speed for about 20 seconds)
• Add seasonings.
• VERY slowly add the oil while whisking, in droplets at first, blending until all the oil has been blended with the egg and mayonnaise is thick and creamy. If using lemon juice blend just until mixed in
• Check for taste
  Store any extra in the refrigerator and eat next day

This article first appeared in the Ecologist September 2006

For ethical and sustainable suppliers of Food and Drink goods and services check out the Ecologist Green Directory here


Help us keep The Ecologist working for the planet

The Ecologist website is a free service, published by The Resurgence Trust, a UK-based educational charity. We work hard - with a small budget and tiny editorial team - to bring you the wide-ranging, independent journalism we know you value and enjoy, but we need your help. Please make a donation to support The Ecologist platform. Thank you!

Donate to us here