How many times do we hear and say that we can’t afford to buy organic, healthy, sustainable, or whatever food? You can buy large, cheap quantities of food usually for less money than their healthier counterparts.
I’d like to challenge that idea by looking at it in this way- you can buy the better, smaller, more delicious version of food that you want if you eat less of it, and don’t waste it.
It is ridiculous how much food is wasted in our homes, not to mention the almost 30% before it even gets to our grocery stores because it is not cosmetically perfect. We sometimes forget we even have it, or don’t use it in time and it gets tossed out. That money for the cheap stuff you throw out, could have been put towards that more expensive food you wanted. I am not even talking about the environmental and poverty aspects in this particular post, which are huge factors.
Most people in wealthier countries eat too much anyway. I’ll focus on USA for now, where more than two-thirds (68.8 percent) of adults are considered to be overweight or obese.
I’m getting to a grassroots level of what we as consumers can do to change the world. We can vote with our money for the healthiest foods for ourselves, the animals and the environment.
Although I don’t eat meat, suppose you do. I think with the meat and dairy industries, all price savings come with a huge cost elsewhere. I know we all can agree this is not what we want to support.
There are costs to everything we consume, I’m just saying we can do A LOT better.
For our family, I have made it a personal challenge to see what creative way I can use what I have on hand in order to extend the time between grocery store visits. By having a lot of rice, beans, lentils, pasta, canned veg and non-perishables in the pantry, my vegetables can be used in all sorts of ways. Stir fry, roasted, soups, curries, and more.
Sometimes it looks like our refrigerator is very bare- and with two big kids with huge appetites, that is hard to avoid! However, if your refrigerator is so full that you cannot locate your leftovers, or even see what is in the back, you will end up wasting food.
I’m lucky enough to be able to go to the grocery store and replenish my supply easily, so I don’t feel like I need to stockpile perishable items.
The best way to use everything, is to follow a meal plan, so you know what you need exactly and you know how you will use it. I used MealMentor. Or, get really ambitious and plan for the whole month and freeze things.
If you aren’t into planning or like to be creative, try making it a game- play Top Chef: make it a culinary challenge to produce a meal from random ingredients. Hint: the key is having condiments and spices. If I have lemon and garlic, I can usually come up with something!
Just for fun, I took a photo of my refrigerator contents (shown above). It looked really bare with milk and some of the condiments on the side, so I added the bowl of fruit that usually sits on the table, and took the vegetables out of the drawers, a bit staged. I usually don’t have two loaves of fresh bread, but have one in the freezer.
It may not look like much for a family of four, but I can see what I have, and am going to make sure I use it all.
Please share your ideas, meal planning, or fridge photos! #wasteless