I want to create a healthy home environment for my family.
This entailed some rather large physical changes in our home but especially the kitchen. I started doing some online research and reading and realized that I had taken quite a bit for granted. I had no idea just how much in our pantry, freezer and refrigerator were GMO, fake, additives, fillers and things I can't pronounce. I had taken it for granted that food from Trader Joes was healthy. I never thought about dyes and colorings and I never thought about putting acidic things into plastic. And I hadn't been reading labels beyond the calories and sugar content.
Within the past couple of weeks I have:
1) Gotten rid of almost all our non-stick cookware (the last piece is my large slow cooker that I love, I'm having a hard time letting go of that and making all sorts of rationalizations about keeping it). I replaced the non-stick with cast iron and stainless steel.
2) Gotten rid of all my anodized aluminum cookware (this is a gut feeling for me, I don't want to cook in aluminum, especially acidic things like tomato sauce).
3) Given away the pork sausages and bacon from Trader Joes - they won't say where their meat is from or if it's confined pork or full of hormones and antibiotics - I'm not going to just assume that it's ok for us to eat.
4) Restocked our freezer with local grass-fed beef and local pastured pork. I did research into the pork available at Whole Foods and feel comfortable with the pork they offer at their butcher counter for when I can't get down to Pescadero for the other.
5) Switched my laying hens to organic feed - if we're going to eat organic, so are my hens since we eat the eggs.
6) Resolved to buy only organic produce. I know there's the 'Dirty Dozen' and that's a great place to start but I don't trust pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers on anything. I'd rather pay more, eat organic and have some kind of faith that we're not ingesting poisons.
7) Bought glass jars and containers for storing my pantry items and repurposed canning jars. No more plastic for us.
8) Replaced our plastic water bottles and sippy cups with glass ones. This was a big leap of faith for me in hoping my kiddo wouldn't break the glass but he's been fantastic with everything.
9) Replaced plastic wrap with beeswax canvas. It's reusable and has been great so far for covering bread rising bowls.
10) Replaced old plastic rubbermaid containers with glass storage containers.
11) Removed almost everything in the pantry that was GMO or had words I couldn't pronounce and replaced with organic, non-GMO versions.
12) Replaced non-organic staples with organic versions (pastas, rolled oats, steel cut oats, wheat germ, polenta, semolina, corn meal, flours).
13) Started doing research into the oils we use for cooking and have switched to coconut oil, ghee, olive (for some things), butter and I'm going to try macadamia nut oil for frying. There's always beef tallow too but...that's a work in progress.
14) Removed all ziploc bags from the kitchen drawers (I kept them for emergencies), started using waxed paper and parchment paper. I also bought freezer Reditainers for freezing leftovers and stocks, they're plastic but better than ziploc.
15) Swapped out my plastic oxo measuring cups for glass Pyrex ones.
16) Bought maple sugar to use instead of regular sugar in recipes.
17) Replaced my son's art supplies with eco-friendly versions. This took some looking and shopping and figuring out to accomplish but I'm pleased with the results and what I found.
18) Replaced our household cleaners with eco-friendly versions.
19) Replaced our soy-based candles with beeswax candles - oh how sweet our home smells now!
20) Resolved to not bring any new plastic items into the house, this includes toys for my son.
It's been a very busy couple of weeks and I look at that list and I feel pretty good and accomplished. I was happy to rehome all of these items and very happy that I could buy the new foods and goods. I am, rather obviously, not someone who does things gradually. When my mind is made up, I like to just do something. This isn't all I have resolved to do with regards to food and eating, but those will be another blog post I think. There are trains to be played with and a fire to be enjoyed. :)