*Note: I'm trying html in this blog so if it comes.out weird, sorry. If it comes out well, it'll look infinitely easier on the eyes. Bueno suerte.<br><BR>
I have been taking a hard look at what I eat & how it effects others for years. My biggest concern was animal cruelty & eating lower on the food chain for most of that time. But now I feel a broader dietary perspective is required to do the most good.<br><br>
<b>Universal tips for eating green, no matter who or where you are:</b> <br><br>
DON'T BUY PROCESSED FOOD OR BUY AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE, & MAKE IT ORGANIC WHEN YOU DO. DIY AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE.<br><br>
Processed foods not only are not very healthy, even if they are organic, but they leave a nasty footprint behind. Ingredients are shipped in from multiple locations, many of them already processed themselves, then they are all processed together with giant machines, packaged & shipped hundreds if not thousands of miles. Often they'll go to distributor's warehouses, then to the market. The processing itself is energy intense, & since these foods are going to sit around a while before you buy them, they are likely to contain preservatives. If these processed foods are refrigerated, like soymilk, or frozen, like Mrs. T'S Pierogis, you better believe the truck that transported them was a refrigerated or frozen truck, respectively, spending a huge amount of fuel. So what do you do? Our goal is in the next 2 years (only because I wasn't into this habit before the baby was born, or else I'd be doing it now...) to make all of our snack foods (what my husband wants for his lunches during work) once per week. He usually eats cereal bars, cookies & crackers -all organic. So I'd make 2 kinds of nutritious cookie bars (yes, it can be done, just use all natural whole food ingredients!) and 1 salty snack like crackers or veggie chips or pretzels (yes this can be done too!) each week, depending on what is in season.<br><br>
SOURCE 80 PERCENT OF YOUR DIET OR MORE AS LOCAL AS POSSIBLE<br><br>
LocaL seasonal diets are what our anscestors had to eat. They are varied, diverse, resourceful, healthy, traditional & more fun than you think. They are easier on the earth by far. They support the local economy. They urge you to become a gourmet, trying & savoring non-homogenized yogurts, artisan butter, heirloom vegetables and learning to enjoy & reflect on them like a connesuer. Eat local, everybody wins.
WHEN YOU EAT OUT, EAT AS VEGAN AS POSSIBLE, UNLESS YOU ARE AT A VERY SPECIAL PLACE, LIKE CHURCH & MAIN IN CANAJOHARIE
Sound harsh? Restaurants buy from distrbutors in large quantities. So unless you ask & find out that the animal products come from local farms, you can assume they don't and you are eating products from animals that stood all day & night in their own filth, never frolicked, rarely saw daylight, & were fed a diet that rotted their guts because they were never meant to eat it. THAT is harsh. Don't support that. Eat vegan when out & request that they carry local animal products if you want to eat them.<br><br>
MAKE SURE TO GET ALL OF YOUR ANIMAL PRODUCTS FROM A LOCAL FARM THAT LETS THE ANIMALS LIVE A HEALTHY, HAPPY, TOTALLY NATURAL LIFE. DO NOT TRUST LABELS, ASK QUESTIONS.<br><br> Coming from the last paragraph, you see what agribusiness is. Envision that when you see meat, eggs & dairy everywhere, unless you can talk to the farmer, visit the farm, or talk to the co-op manager to know that the animal was raised right. Do not believe labels, especially not the pictures. Its all meant to get you to buy the product, it is purposely misleading.<br><br>
IF YOU CAN'T FIND LOCAL ANIMAL PRODUCTS THAT YOU CAN FIND OUT FOR SURE COME FROM GENUINELY NATURALLY RAISED ANIMALS, BECOME VEGAN.<br><br> I'm sure you understand why now- our food system & grocery stores are capitalist, not compassionate. They exist to get your money, not serve your best interest, or the planet's, or the animals exploited like the environment, as a commodity. Capitalism is self-serving, so be skeptical.<br><br>
EAT FRUITS & VEGETABLES THAT ARE LOCALLY GROWN, WHICH MEANS EATING SEASONALLY. BUY EXTRA ALL SUMMER & PRESERVE THEM BY CANNING & FREEZING FOR WINTER USE. THEN YOU'LL BARELY HAVE TO SHOP OR DO ANY FOOD PREP ALL WINTER LONG.
<br><br> This takes some practice to get used to, I admit. But all that time is well spent, preserving the fresh tastes of the season as the healthy convenience foods of the winter. Then winter can be enjoyed as a time for family fun, making homemade pizzas, pasta with pesto or shepard's pie then cuddling on the couch with a movie or a good book. I'll share more details on this in the future...<br><br>
LIMIT WHAT YOU BUY FROM BEYOND 200 MILES AWAY- MAKE IT FAIR TRADE & ORGANIC. DRY GOODS LIKE SPICES, TEAS, & BULK ITEMS LIKE GRAINS & BEANS ARE YOUR BEST ECOLOGICAL, TASTING & NUTRITIONAL CHOICES, BUT ONLY IF ORGANIC (& FAIR TRADE IF POSSIBLE).
Fair trade if especially important with non-edible goods like clothing & crafts, and coffee, tea & chocolate. Chocolate, unless it is fair trade, can be assumed to have involved child slave labor. It is not an exageration! Coffee & tea should also be fair trade because those worker otherwise were likely to make far below a decent wage otherwise. Dry goods are lighter & required less energy to ship. Bulk goods use much less packaging, an eco-plus. Pasta is usually a fair exception to the no processed food rule, but get organic pasta in bulk or as little packaging as possible.
BUY SOME VEGETARIAN COOKBOOKS- IF YOU EAT MEAT LEARN TO EAT LESS. LEARN TO EAT WHOLE NATURAL FOODS. LEARN TO ENJOY NATURAL TASTES, SEASONAL FOODS & NEW COMBINATIONS.
ANIMALVEGETABLEMIRACLE.COM is a good source for seasonal & DIY recipes. If you want an enjoyed read with a thorough picture of what seasonal healthy gourmet eating can be like, please read the book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver.
<br><br>must have appliances: crockpot, rice cooker(used for any grains), breadmaker (one that makes pizza dough & jam!) & a canning set up. Canning is dangerous when done wrong, so always be careful to follow directions.
<Br><br>places to shop: (as close to home or work as possible) Down To Earth, Rt. 30 AMSTERDAM, Mohawk Harvest cooperative Market, N. Main st, GLOVERSVILLE, Honest Weight Food Coop, Central ave, ALBANY, LOCAL FARMERS MARKETS MAY-NOV (SCHENECTADY & TROY HAVE YEAR ROUND MARKETS)...<br><br>
It does take more time & thought to eat this way. It takes a lot less time at the grocery store. Its a lot more fresh & flavorful. Its SO MUCH BETTER FOR THE EARTH. Every minute you put in preparing food for the week or putting up food for the season is banked, because you create convenience for later. You support your local economy, local farmers, you meet your neighbors & the people who grow your food, and you can use this new time in the kitchen to bond with your loved ones. Spend this time creating & passing on healthy & sustainable food traditions that will serve them well, lifelong, and share memories that will warm your hearts that long as well.<br><br>
things to google: slow foods movement- slowfoodsusa.org, cheesemaking.com, farm to school project, edible schoolyard, biodiversity: heirloom plants & heritage breeds, 100 mile diet, the omnivore's dilemma, vegetarian times recipes (very good ones!), mohawkharvest.org, hwfc.com seasonal vegetable recipes, whole grain recipes, the passioanate vegetarian (really awesome cookbook)...
<br><br>FYI: it takes 30 minutes to make fresh mozzerella from milk, it takes a handblender, a little stirring & some ignoring to make homemade butter, 1.5 cups each florida sugar & drained frozen strawberries picked in June thrown into a breadmaker for an hour become badass jam, fresh baked bread smells awesome- even in a breadmaker...