I’ve been thinking about food a lot lately. I mean, more than normal even for me, because, let’s be real, I probably think about food more than the average person. Mainly, because I keep reading articles about the things you shouldn’t eat – too many pesticides, too much fat, too much processed food, etc. It seems everyday, I’m learning about some new chemical and one more item is crossed off my list of things I can eat or cook with. This time it was canned tomatoes, which happen to be a staple for me. That was kinda the last straw for me. I felt paralyzed to eat well and make good food decisions for our family. I mean, I agree with the reasons you’re not supposed to eat canned tomatoes. Cans have BPA in their lining, tomatoes have high acidity which increases the amount of BPA absorbed from the can into the food. BPA is very bad and linked to anything from reproductive problems to heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. *Sigh*
I realize I could use jarred pasta sauces as a swap for some of my canned tomato uses, but really, is there a substitute for Muir Glen’s organic fire roasted tomatoes, short of growing and fire roasting some yourself? It makes me sad that food engineers (or whoever is responsible for cans in the food industry) cannot create canned goods without using excessive chemicals. I mean, I’m sure they can, but they don’t.
I read the other day on a friend’s blog that they try and eat SOLE foods whenever possible. S=sustainable, O=organic, L=local, E=ethical. I thought that was a great way to sum up the way I would like to eat. Turns out it is more difficult to eat this way than I would like. Difficult because it takes time and money to do this well, both of which I seem to have little of. Part of my solution to this was going to be a square foot garden in our backyard, since the nearby farmer’s market is closed for the season, but in the craziness that is life, it doesn’t look like it is going to be put in with enough time to get a spring garden going. Ethical is especially hard because there are so many secret lives of some ingredients, like sugar, coffee, palm oil, soybeans . . . How do you really know how your food is handled and how those food handlers are treated?
A lot of times, when I feel paralyzed by an idea or a concept, I just have to step back and look at it again in smaller pieces.
- I am going to buy organic when I am buying the most contaminated foods, dairy, meat and food for baby. That means I am probably going to be buying less meat.
- I will try and follow the Seafood Watch Program with seafood.
- I will try to find alternatives to canned items when possible.
- I am going to try and buy local whenever possible. Maybe in the future, sign up for a CSA box.
- I am going to try not to buy foods that are grown far away. This means, no frozen shrimp from Thailand.
- I am going to search organic vendor’s websites for coupons to try and reduce costs.
- I am going to continue to try and choose food brands that support work ethics that I agree with. This may mean spending a little more money on coffee or chocolate and spending less money in other areas of our finances.
- I am going to give myself grace when I fail in these areas.
What about you guys? Tell me about your food thoughts.