I don’t know about you but I’m getting tired of all the food recalls of products containing those tainted peanuts. There is such a long list that I no longer can keep up with it. How many processed foods out there have peanuts in them? I’m thankful that our family does not have a peanut allergy. But after hearing this long list of items, have you begun to look into your pantry at all of the boxes of processed foods and ask yourself, what is in there that could make me sick or worse, kill me?
If not you should be. When I was growing up we always had a saying at our house, You are What You Eat. Now this is not a new saying as it is reported to have started in 1826 but the phrase was put into the current public conscious by Lindlahr who published You Are What You Eat: how to win and keep health with diet. Lindlahr is likely to have also used the term in his radio talks in the late 1930s.
It’s sad but I don’t really hear many people talking like that anymore. I think it’s because too many of us live in the boxes of food in our pantries and freezers. We don’t have or give ourselves the time to cook food from it’s original state so we grab what is convenient. Have you ever read the long list of ingredients on some of these boxes?
Now if you have food allergies or intolerances I’m sure you have gotten very good at reading those lists of ingredients. But doesn’t that take a lot of time? When you go to the grocery store do you spend a long time reading everything? Well I’m sure you’ll tell me that you now know the products that you can eat and you only purchase those, so shopping is faster. Well that must be boring. Are you now forced to eat the same things over and over?
Have you ever read the ingredients label on a zucchini or mushroom? How long does it take to shop the produce, seafood and butcher shop? Not long at all. You could use that time you are wasting reading all of those boxes and put it towards cooking. Did you know it costs a lot less per volume to cook with single ingredients than it does from boxes?
Now there are some items I know you are just not going to make and that you will buy in a box. I too have those. I don’t make the quinoa pasta I eat, it comes from a box. It has 3 ingredients on that label and no chemicals, so I use it. There are others but the overall amount in any given week is extremely minimal.
What if only 10% of your weekly menu came from a box? How would that change your health? How would it change your bank account? How would it change your kitchen? Think about it. Use the tools you have around to make the food your family likes and is safe to eat. Get out that crockpot and make your own stocks and cook the less expensive cuts of meat. Cook in bigger batches and freeze the leftovers. This is how you make your own fast food. Why should we allow all of those companies to decide what goes into our bodies? After all, you are what you eat.
I am challenging you to get out of the box and back into real food. If you have tips that could help others jump or tip toe into this lifestyle, please leave a comment.