Monday, March 24, 2008

Back to basics....keeping it simple.

So over the weekend I was busy planting my peas, onions, and spinach - as well as setting up my deer fencing. As I was busily working the garden, I started to think about how this 'mind shift' and progression of being a locavore occurred to me. Now keep in mind, the changes I have made in my family's lives are not based on scientific principle, and many may not seem that major, but I am keeping to the basic principle of KEEPING IT SIMPLE. So what this means is:
  • I threw out all of my tupperwear and only use glass containers
  • I DO NOT buy food, if I can help it, with high fructose corn syrup (Trader Joes does a great job screening for you, I swear, I have never found a product they have with it)
  • I buy local before I buy organic.
  • I look at what country my food comes from, and will always buy food MADE IN THE USA first (many countries do not get held to the same standards food does here - there is no guarantee- but I think there is a bigger risk of buying food with excess pesticides/chemicals in those less regulated countries)
  • Basic rule- I don't buy food from CHINA, and if I can help it, I try not to buy other products made there. At this point I am still just amazed at how many of my products are made there. So I guess my first step is awareness, and next is finding alternatives. But for food, definately NO.
  • I make all that I can from scratch- yogurt, cheese, and meals. I figure the more control I have over who touches my food, the better.
  • Although things may be cheaper at a big box store, I am supporting, the best I can, local businesses.
  • I try to stay away from food chain restaurants and look for those privately owned food establishments where you can tell that someone cares.
  • Getting more knowledgeable about using certain herbal remedies. For now I am talking about basic things like stings and cuts and such. I am also getting into the making and use of herbal teas. Note for those new gardeners- herbs are not picky AT ALL! Just give them some soil, and they will grow.

Ok- not rocket science, but simple things that make me feel better about me and my family's health. My father-in-law asked me yesterday why I was making my own ricotta when I can just buy it in teh store. My answer was, "because I can". So kinda a culture clash there - but I am going away from being awed by the conveniences of this world and am now asking those hard questions about where and how my food was prepared. The more I learn, the more I am learning to do it by myself.