Friday, June 18, 2010

If you are what you eat, I am a chocolate chip cookie - oops!

Watching 'The Doctors' on TV this morning this feature on how much sodium is in the foods we eat caught my ear. A small bowl of cottage cheese and a bag of regular potato chips were compared. The chips had 146 grams of sodium and the cottage cheese had 800+ grams!!!! WOW.

I want to make sure that the food I am eating, and also the food I prepare for Jeremy and other friends and family is not only tasty, but good for our bodies.

I try to make good food choices but when I consider something like cottage cheese I wouldn't even think to look at the nutritional content, it's good for you, right? Not with a sodium content like that. I guess I just have to start reading labels more carefully!
That was a side note as I sat to write a blog about food, but since it was on my mind I thought I would throw that nugget in here! OK, here we go for reals.

Jeremy knows that I prefer to buy organic produce when possible, and recently he forwarded me an article which was a report about the level of toxins found in particular fruits and vegetables. The list shows which produce is worth the expense (if possible) of buying organic for the sake of our health, and which fruits and veggies we can buy locally grown instead.

It listed the "Dirty Dozen", These items have been found to have very high levels of pesticides and chemicals. Where possible, I am going to buy organic.





Domestic blueberries


Sweet bell peppers

Spinach, kale and collard greens



Imported grapes


And these fruits and vegetables have been labeled the clean 15, and are fine to buy locally grown.



Sweet corn



Sweet peas


Kiwi fruit






Sweet potatoes

Sweet onions

I believe God created all this amazing bounty for us to enjoy and to grow and sustain our bodies but I believe it is my responsibility to make conscious choices about the food I put in my body. I am very blessed to be in a position to chose an organic option when possible, I know that is not the case for everyone. Food is a gift. My passion to cook exploded after I was married (and had another person to cook for!) and at the same time, so did my desire to make healthy meals. Howeverm I want to cook without breaking the bank.

(Then God said, "Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds." And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:11,12)

I was vegetarian for over a decade until I began to be in full-time missions. Not eating meat became a hindrance to fully embracing people in other cultures and I felt led to start meat-eating again. However, life has come around and now I am looking to remove much of the meat from my diet one again, and by extension from Jeremy's! Not that we are wanting to pick up the vegetarian label but simply wanting meat to be an exception not a rule when we eat. There are so many other things, grains, beans, pulses lentils etc which can be used as staples, and are so tasty.

I hate waste, and I really hate throwing away food because I only used a cups worth for a recipe. My hope is that I can create some weekly menus which would mean I use all of the groceries I buy. It's a project in process!

I am exploring how to store foods well, especially produce. For example, I plan to go blueberry and strawberry picking this summer and want to use some of my booty fresh but then freeze the rest for later. I also have a rhubarb plant going crazy in my garden and I need to harvest before it spoils and freeze most of it. I read an article about freezing produce flat on a baking sheet so it freezes the fruit individually before you put it in a bag or tub? We'll see how that works!

We are considering having produce delivered, as well as making more of bulk shopping opportunities, so any leads or tips on any of this stuff would be greatly appreciated.

Happy shopping, cooking, and eating to you all!!

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