I pick up the package, find the list of ingredients and place my thumb over that list.
If my thumb doesn’t cover the ingredient list, then I don’t eat it!
I’m not a fanatic about food. I have been, you name the diet, I’ve done it! I’ve tried them all. I like chocolate. I like a nice martini or manhattan.
I don’t drink Green Smoothies for breakfast. I did. In the 80s and again early 2000. I’m over it.
But it’s not enough nowadays to kinda eat right. We honestly don’t know what’s in our food supply. And…I live in the US now which has the worst food in the world. Yeah…stuff that’s banned all over the place is perfectly okay in our food sources. Sheesh!!!
There is increasing interest in the use of additives in our foods. Early 2005 there was a big hoopla about red dyes in food. We were told we are exposed to potentially carcinogenic properties of food dye Sudan 1. Carcinogenic means ‘cancer forming.’ Yes, it causes cancer, but let’s pop it into food to make it a nice red color. Turned out it is ‘illegal’ to use Sudan 1, but it still made its way into our food. Sigh…
Why do we need colorants at all? To make things look more appealing…according to the marketers. Hmm, why not let food just look like food? This may include ground beef at the supermarket. What? You didn’t see it on the label. Nope, it doesn’t have to be labeled.
Let’s get back to basics!
Delia smith advocated a return to “basic, old- fashioned cooking” in the March 4, 2005 Daily Mail. She says: “You do suddenly see the horror of what can happen through one little mistake (the Sudan 1 scare)…I believe that food is a wonderful gift and it is good to give it our full attention.” However, Delia does acknowledge that ready made meals have their place in our busy lives. “I do know that time can play a part.”
So, what do you think? Is it realistic to expect busy women and men to make every meal from scratch, or do we have to accept that not all of us have the time or energy to cook a full-blown meal every day?
There is something you can do!
Take time to plan your meals for the week. Before you panic and think “oh no, here’s another thing to add into my hectic schedule” take a deep breath or two, and relax.
Planning the week’s meals will save you money at the grocery store – you make a menu, then make a shopping list.
Post the menu on the fridge, include snacks. I use a nice magnet from Martha Stewart and a pretty turquoise pen. When you get home, or the kids get home, all anyone has to do is check the menu. No time standing in front of the fridge thinking “what shall I prepare for dinner tonight?”
See how you can begin to save some time and energy?
When preparing meals make two or three extras and freeze them – ready meals without the additives (or at least limited additive interference). Can’t think of anything? How about:
- (use the best meats you can find. I personally like to use organic, local grown beef and buffalo for my chili etc.)
- loads of chicken recipes
- (again, check the label in the supermarket to get the best you can…there are some horror stories, but I’ll tell them another time)
- brown rice can be cooked on Sunday and warmed up for up to 5 days without substantial loss of B vitamins.
- My friend, Rose, roasts root vegetables with a little olive oil and fresh herbs, then warms them up as needed.
- Get the kids to grate a big bowl of cheese and keep it in the fridge.
- I used to get my kids to peel carrots and keep a bowl of ready to eat carrots in the fridge. Did you know that the mini carrots you buy in the supermarket are bleached? Even the organic ones. So, get proper carrots. I use organic big carrots and just give them a wash and chop. Easy.
- Also celery in the fridge for instant snacks is good.
- Ooh, ooh, and my current fave…an apple or a pear with almond butter. Super yummy!
I bet you can think of lots of ways to spend a little time in the kitchen and not eat so many ready meals and processed foods.
Got a tip for us? Pop it into the comments below so we can all share.