Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Un-processing my pantry

I'm going to try to push through this one before the girls wake up, and it's coming up on the end of rest time.  Here's hoping that it's legible.

Recently, I came across a DIY recipe for Pedialyte, sans chemicals, preservatives and other yuckies.  I'm all about that, and reading through the post, I was pretty much thinking wait...seriously...this stuff is cheap!  Upon that realization, I was really interested.  Pedialyte is nothing if not wallet gouging expensive.  But when your kid is puking miserable, you grumble under your breath and still grab a couple of containers/packages off of the shelf and swipe the credit card before you fishtail out of the parking lot in a mad dash home with THE STUFF.  When faced with a sick kid, I feel fairly desperate and willing to pay for just about anything that provides some relief or promises to keep my kid alive.  I'm all about that. 

Later, as I came back to this blog, I became more intrigued by the premise of what this family is documenting: removing processed foods from their lives.  Sounds easy, no? 

No, it doesn't.  Admittedly, I was more somewhat unimpressed at first because it's not that uncommon for families to do the lets-get-back-to-the-good-stuff kind of eating.  Whatever the terminology, the slow food movement isn't that unique anymore.  But, this isn't about that, not really.  It's about eliminating processed foods from the family's diet, and the more I thought about it, the more I realized how utterly dependent on processed foods we are.  There is some amount of crazy in this idea, and I'd love to sit down and chat with them about it.

I did a mental check of our pantry, which generally doesn't stock what I immediately think of when faced with the term "processed."  There's no blue box of Kraft (though I do wish there was...sacrifices for a healthier family must be made).  We don't have any chips, Capri Suns, or Fruit Loops gracing the shelves.  I'm looking at it right now since the door is open and it looks pretty good, legitimately healthy...right?

I see pasta sauce, pasta, Honey Bunches of Oats (with pecans, my fav!), and pita chips.  Actually, everything I just listed (and that's just the one shelf that I can really see) is processed.  If I'm doing away with the processed stuff, even the "healthy" processed stuff, where does that leave us?

It means a little more love translated through a little more time spent taking care of us.  I'm not professing that "processed" is always evil, though a good amount of balance wouldn't hurt.  My philosophy is increasingly driven by intentionality, whereupon I decide what I'm eating or choosing to purchase, and not just with food, with a purpose.  We grumble about how apathetic our children are in the choices and actions that they make, but I see the insidious nature of this vice extending to us all. 

For whatever reason, I distinctly remember sitting with my friends at lunch during high school talking about meat.  My best bud would only eat meat "that doesn't look like meat...no bones!"  I declared that I could never be a vegetarian "because I don't like vegetables enough" (i.e. I generally don't care for a straight-up tomato and had never, ever tasted an eggplant or an avocado at that point in my life).  I've been thinking about this conversation a lot lately as I've been dwelling in the topic of food as I go through my Michael Pollan phase.  I get it now, the apathy to try anything different, the idea that you don't shake the boat that you're in.  

So rock on, Lisa Leake!  Would anyone take their 10-day pledge with me...push the apathy to the back of the pantry if only for a few days?   


Jessica Dugdale said...

I would join you, but I don't know where to begin. I don't have enough money to buy a bunch of stuff (or a little bit of stuff), and even if I did, it would still be difficult to find many things that aren't processed. Frustration.

Amy said...

Welp, I don't have the money or the knowledge either. I'm highly considering this for a future Lenten journey.

Crystal said...

Ooohhh...I like the idea of this as a Lenton journey...intriguing...