Some of you…perhaps most of you…are not only foodies, but healthy food foodies, and you try to supply your family with nutritious, safe food. A few of you have more than a passing interest in keeping your pantry healthy and go out of your way to feed your family right.
I have considered myself to be in that group for the last decade or so, both because I want to put generally healthy meals on the family table and because I am diabetic and want to eat right to keep it under semi-control.
I say semi-control because I made a decision to eat generally healthy but not to eat a diet that totally deprives me of enjoying what I eat. In other words…I cheat.
One thing I have been doing, especially during the cold months when the local farmer’s market is closed, is staying away from the middle of the supermarket where the processed foods are that are full of chemicals, and doing all of the shopping I can around “the edges” (except the deli, which is chemical city) where you find the freshest food…meats, produce, eggs, cheese. Before you yell at me, I know there are dangers lurking at the edges as well…farm raised fish, beef and dairy full of growth hormones, caged chickens, etc, but I watch for the dangers we all mostly know about. I even shop in the organic section for produce…not too bad for a redneck hillbilly, I think.
There are chemicals…in the organic section!
OK…I’m not naive. I know that “organic” is not really…organic. Organic as a description of a natural method for growing food and raising livestock ceased to exist soon after large food corporations found out that they could make a lot of money from people wanting to eat food that is raised more naturally than what comes from factory farms. Today the “organic” designation is little more than another in a long line of government certifications that can be gotten by paying (Surprise!) a fee to the government and giving little more than lip service to actually following organic methods.
I think my “light bulb moment” came when I was walking down the supermarket aisle where the spaghetti sauces are. I saw a famous (notorious?) national brand of sauce that said “XXXXX Brand Organic Spaghetti Sauce”, and I thought to myself, “Now where did they get enough tomatoes…organic tomatoes…to make enough sauce to stock every supermarket in the country and still be priced the same as the non-organic sauce?
Bing! Epiphany time.
Anyway, I thought there were certain things in the supermarket that were “safe”. “Organic”, fresh, local (the newest “thing” in the produce section…”local”) vegetables. If they are “local” I would know if they were grown right…right? I’d know if there were any big monocrop operations in the area.
Well, as this little girl taught me, even “fresh” and “organic” and “local” do not mean chemical free. The video is short…a couple of minutes…and eye opening.
So, what do you do to keep your larder safe, especially in the winter when your garden is fallow or your local farmer’s market is closed? Share your secrets in the comments below.