I’m most surprised by how much packaging we use, especially with food. We compost almost all food waste and paper. We recycle everything else, but the small amount of trash we generate is plastic from packaged foods that cannot be recycled. Not in this area, anyway.
We bought our last box of cereal. From now on, we plan on eating only cereal we can buy in bulk–consisting of various granola blends, muesli, and oatmeal. I’m making more muffins from scratch and trying different bran and hot cereals sold in cardboard boxes. Products like Quaker Oats oatmeal come in a cardboard container but the outer top, made of plastic, cannot be recycled. Matthew said to me, “I sure am going to miss Total Cinnamon Crunch cereal, but this is what voting with your wallet means.” If only cereal came without the plastic lining, OR the bag was compostable…
Challenge: more creative breakfasts.
I’ve switched the brand of prunes I eat from those sold in a plastic non-recyclable bag to those sold in a cardboard container. It’s a different brand and the taste isn’t the same. Like the cereal though, we aren’t giving up the things we like to eat, we’re simply switching brands that come in recyclable material. I’m also making a lot more food myself.
We’ve stopped buying anything individually wrapped. When we’re shopping at the grocery now, I find we’re looking at the packaging as well as the ingredients list and often putting things back. We aren’t buying the quick steamable veggies in the frozen food section anymore. We buy them fresh and I take the 10 minutes to steam them myself.
We don’t buy the quick, frozen meals for busy days anymore when I don’t have anything cooked either. I cook at least two crock pot meals a week (which I chronicle in my G.I. Crockpot blog) so there’s less likely a chance I need something quick to throw on for dinner. I make more food for Matt’s lunch instead of buying convenient, individual items and send food to work with him in reusable containers.
My cousin assures me the small grocery stores in south Georgia are wonderful for buying cuts of meat from the butcher. I’ve stopped buying frozen fish already but meat is next. I’ll get it fresh from the butcher/fish department. The Johnson Family stores fresh meat and fish in glass containers when buying. We’ve been looking for them, but have only found plastic containers so far.
For me, this has been the biggest challenge yet. Cutting out the plastic must be done but how to do it…..It seems absolutely everything is sold in shiny, colorful packaging. Thus far, Matt and I have decided bulk is about the same price as buying food in stores (outside of the commissary). But because we get such a good deal at the commissary, it seems bulk is a few dollars more expensive. A few dollars add up quickly. Why should we have to make the decision between helping the environment and not going broke? Shouldn’t buying in bulk always be less expensive? Doesn’t that just make sense?
Eat Fresh Foods (No Canned) to Reduce BPA exposure (pregnancybaby411.com)
Sugar is Decidedly Not Healthy…But is it Toxic? (betterbydrbrooke.wordpress.com)
How would you reform the food system? (slowfoodusa.org)
Day One: Shopping, Chopping and Cooking (backyardagrarian.com)