Time for some complaining.

I have to say, they really do not make it easy for us moms, shoppers, cooks, or any person trying to do ''the right thing'', or just plain eat ''healthier''.
  • The store: if you want to be sure that you are getting a good product, you have to search for the stores that have it, then look in the stores for the product that has the right packaging, study the labels to make sure you are not getting something funky....  and of course try to fit all that into your budget, meaning always on the look for sales. And, on top of that, the products that you trust, or think you trust, change their ingredients all the time, so it seems that if you forget to ''check'', you might end up with more than you asked for (more unknown ingredients, that is...). It's time consuming, stressful, and exhausting, really. 
  • Everything comes in plastic. Everything!!!! I had decided not to buy anything wrapped in that stuff. But I've had to forgo on so many foods, that tonight at the store I had to relax the rule a bit just to be able to give the kids a little variety. I haven't bought in 4 months now: tofu, corn tortillas, taco shells, frozen vegetables of any kind, yogurt smoothies, orange juice, cereals of any kind, sandwich bread, cereal bars, English muffins, corn chips, chips, pretzels, Goldfish... in short, anything that you can only find in... plastic. I must say, there is definitely less junk consumed when one avoids plastic...
  • You just can't make everything. I have been making yogurt, butter, muffins, scones, cookies, bread, and even pasta. But I cannot, and don't know how to make tofu, or corn chips, or tortillas... and I do miss some of this stuff. Making your own stuff is not hard; I'd much rather bake a cookie myself, or with the kids, than wonder around in the store trying to find a decent one. But we tend to cook and bake things the same way... and it gets boring. And when it is boring, it is tiring and impossible to continue without a little variety and/or change of pace. Wouldn't it be wonderful to just be able to walk to a nearby store, and pick up some scones or muffins for the next morning, and know that they are made by people that really care for their customer's health, and take the time to make the food with the best possible ingredients? And fresh. Not wrapped in all that plastic to protect it for the months that it sits in the ware houses and supermarket shelves before being picked up to be eaten. Or to be able to buy peanuts (in their shells) that don't come in a plastic bag! Do peanuts really need to come in plastic bags??? I really wanted to buy peanuts today at the store, but decided to wait and see if I can find fresh ones somewhere else... frustrating.
    So, in short, I relaxed the rule and bought taco shells... from the freezer, wrapped in plastic. Because they  are organic, which is the only way for me to know that they are not made with genetically engineered corn...

    But this post would not be complete without the upside of all this.
    1. The household trash has decreased to 1 half-full bag every other week... thanks to less plastic, and "plasticky'' things such as OJ cartons, milk cartons etc.
    2. Only one trip to the store (for bulk items and meat for the dog) every month!  Less stress, less gas, less stuff bought on a whim... more time for more interesting stuff. 
    3. A lot of money saved from avoiding packaged and processed foods. I used to come out of Costco with a weekly bill never less than $100, most of it spent on kids ''snacks'' for school. Now I come out of a health food store with a $100 or $200 bill monthly. It does pay off not to buy processed food. Not to mention the money that you will save on medical bills later in life...
    4. Got to meet really great farmers who we buy from weekly, and who sustain us with their vegetables, milk and eggs. I know where my stuff comes from, and where my money is goes to. It does not go to big corporations and executives salaries. It goes, instead, directly to the farmers who make an honest living growing products that they care about, and which sustain the people that have the fortune of eating it fresh. 
    So, is it worth the trouble, the extra time, the extra effort? Yes, absolutely. But so many more people could, and would, do better for the environment, and/or eat better for themselves, if they were only presented with better choices at the store. And our streets, and rivers, and oceans, would definitely have less (plastic) trash in them as well.

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