We’re currently on holidays with my sister, who is visiting us from Germany. As such, I will say now that this blog will likely be very neglected over the next week.
I wanted to take this time to mention our fooding journey thus far. Mr T has always been a very healthy eater, but recently I have made a huge cupboard-transformation (I’m not lucky enough to have a pantry, so I just have several cupboards that do the job!). I’ve become increasingly disgruntled with plastic containers and harmful chemicals leeching into our foods, and the BPA lining that is stock standard in the canned food industry, and just all the unnecessary junk added into the foods we buy. If you’re a nutrition-label-reader, I urge you to stop and read the ingredients list instead. How many “numbers” can you count in just one item? And how many mystery “oils” and “proteins” and “thickeners” and “emulsifiers” and other things can you spot? Do you actually know what any of these ARE? And do you know what any of these DO? These are the kinds of questions we need to ask about the foods we are putting into our bodies. These are the questions I began to ask.
I bought my Thermomix at the beginning of the year, and that changed my cooking-life. I began to make the essentials from scratch with only real ingredients (peanut butter, jam, mayonnaise, dips, bread……..). This was all well and good, but I still felt we were eating unnecessary additives. How often do you come across dried apricots without preservatives? Did you know that this preservative can be dangerous for asthmatics? It also does nothing for the taste or the shelf-life of the apricot… merely keeps it bright orange. And coconut – how often do you come across preservative-free dessicated coconut?
And then I read an amazing book by an amazing woman – Changing Habits, Changing Lives by Cyndi O’Meara. I encourage anyone who is serious about eating healthily to read this wonderful book. Cyndi’s basic message is that we should be eating natural, whole foods and using ingredients as close as possible to their natural source. If we are bombarding our body with synthetic “frankenfoods”, our body just goes, “what the heck are you feeding me? I can’t use any of this stuff! I need more food!” However, if we only put the good stuff in, then our body can understand what it is getting and process everything, and lo and behold – our very smart system will tell us when it has received all the nutrients it needs. Makes perfect sense to me!
So, I started on this amazing journey to rid my cupboards of all the evils. I bought glass storage jars to replace all my plastics (this will also be very helpful when weevil-season rolls around, as those little suckers can get into plastics). I bought non-leeching stainless steel drink bottles and lunch boxes for both Mr T and me. I found a company with a warehouse nearby, that sells organic goodies – grains, nuts, legumes, beans, baking needs, dried fruits, tea, pretty much everything. I gathered a few friends with similar fooding views and we did a big bulk order to save money. I have tea without anti-clumping agents, apricots and dessicated coconut without preservatives, and so much more! I use dried beans and legumes instead of the canned stuff. I have also started going to an amazing organic market for my fruit and veg. It’s quite surprising, but I find their prices to be not much higher on average than at the supermarket – one week it even worked out to be cheaper.
What does this all MEAN? Well, we eat wonderfully. Our bodies are better for it. I am very prone to headaches, and additives of all kinds set them off. The headaches have been much better since making this transition. But there are much more far-reaching benefits than just having healthier bodies and minds.
The Environment – we buy very little that comes wrapped in plastic, or in a can, or in a jar, or any other kind of packaging that just gets binned. We are buying, cooking with, and eating a stack more fresh produce – even less packaging! And we are buying stuff that hasn’t been sprayed with goodness-knows-what.
Ethics – We are naturally avoiding all the big companies that have the bad ethical reputations – Coca Cola, Nestle, Heinz, etc etc. because we just don’t consume any of their products. We make our own juice, sauce, biscuits, practically everything – bypassing the big baddies of the consumer world and helping others while helping ourselves.
I know it’s very easy to fall into the trap of “it’s too hard” or “I’m only one person, I can’t make a difference”. But if there are lots of one persons….. We can make a difference together. And if I can inspire just one person to change their habits, then my work here is done (but I’ll still keep blogging anyway). I hope everyone has a wonderful week this week, and I look forward to bombarding you all with more cooking posts soon!