I've been thinking about how to post at all my blogs and food has been rising in possibilities this month... :-) I am busy trying to live on what I have in my "pantry" and this has led to some interesting food discoveries. I am going to try to share more of these "aha!" moments as time goes by.
This long effort to stay away from the grocery store has been good for learning new ways to eat. Over the weeks of doing this, the way I shop has been changing. More veggies and fruit are one of the goals. Losing some of my extra pounds is another.
Someday I hope to afford ORGANIC because our food systems are so dangerous now, and getting worse. But, I can't afford the high cost of Organic so I have been learning to buy as much Organic as I can, and then keep working to enlarge these items when I shop.
I don't know EVERYTHING there is to know about the growing GMO contents in our food supplies, but I am amazed at how this knowledge increases as I look for recipes, read articles, watch videos at YouTube and other places, and also try to view documentaries on the topic. (One I now like to recommend is called MODIFIED, by a lone woman in Canada.) I have some of the major books on food issues, but can't say I have read them all the way through. It's one of my "senior" projects, for the days of rocking chairs and worse health.
One recent discovery adds to my beliefs about our global future...
I discovered our country has a huge, REALLY HUGE! , underground water supply under several states in our mid-west farmland. They call it The Aquifer. I discovered it existed when I was looking for information on the oil pipeline that is going from Canada through the entire US to Texas. I watched a video about something called the Sandhills in Nebraska... then more videos on that topic.
Later on I realized that SAND is nature's way of purifying water. I thought about all that farmland, all the Round Up and other chemicals that are used for industrial farming, and how rain makes the things on top of the land sink down into the earth. I think you can see the problem.
I wondered if anyone tests that water for pesticide pollution.
I realized that the government would never tell us if it did.
I realized how dangerous this is for our nation's food supplies... and what we send to other countries.
I had no idea where to find out, so I sent something to the Non-GMO Project asking if they knew anything about the water called The Aquifer, but never heard back.
When I think of me and my income, there is little for me to do to go forward with this. I am very upset that this was not a consideration when the oil pipeline was decided. Any kind of disaster with it might involve this water source.
I don't think oil can really be "cleaned up." It just goes somewhere along the currents. I lived in Goleta, CA, for a time in my teens. The Santa Barbara area has had oil spills and one of the lasting issues is "oil tar" in the beach sands.
I kind of understand (from the BP disaster) that they use chemicals when they try to clean up an oil spill. Maybe it is like all the chemicals they put in our city water supplies... it is considered "harmless." I know we have to do something to try to get clean water to millions of people, but I don't think anything added for those purposes can be totally harmless.
We use these things because we have to, there are no other alternatives... at least for the poor there aren't.
I guess I am getting into more than I planned for this post.
I am seeing that the weekly shopping plan is really the best. My goal budget for food is $300 a month, separating that into $100 for staples that need to be replaced, and then four weeks of $50 each. This should be enough to buy fresh veggies and fruits, treats for the week (so you can limit them better), and then what you need for meals that week.
I am trying to plan my meals more, but haven't gotten that detailed. I buy things I like to eat and then work them into the daily plan.
When I get low on food is when things get "creative." :-)
I am noticing it is good for my overeating because I need to get up and do something. It is eating when you aren't hungry, just eating. Health issues push me into this. I would probably end up sitting in front of a computer screen all day and night if I could get away with it.
As a senior citizen, food choices become important... and meals change. I am on that learning curve as well. Small portions more often work well for me. That would be a sandwich, a salad, or something like a baked potato or roasted veggies as a "meal."
Limited shopping means dry beans and rice, or other grains. I think it was a week or so ago that I made some lentils into a new veggie burger for me. I had lentils and I had some Italian-flavored bread crumbs. They were liquid enough that I could mash them with a spoon and mix in the bread crumbs for a thickener so they could be shaped into a burger. It turned out so good I will make it my veggie burger option from now on. I was able to make a small amount, and even froze some for later.
My life has always been in "survival mode." Recipes have always been for people with money. Most of them still are. But now, without kids to cook for, I can explore more food choices... things I was never able to eat in my earlier life. Those are some of the "treats" in my shopping budget.
It works for me.
Trying to do this new experiment in food and budgeting and shopping has really depleted my food supplies at home. So recovering will take awhile. That is something to keep in mind... and is why I decided there needed to be a separate amount for replacing staples like flour, sugar, yeast, condiments, etc.
I look back on my life sometimes and I wonder how I survived on Food Stamps all those years, especially with children. It was never enough, but you had to find a way to survive until the next month. We had to go to community food kitchens all the time, and get food boxes when possible or necessary.
Food issues are BIG with me because of my past, knowing that once the food is gone, there is nothing you can do on your own. I worry about the needs of others in the future... about the dangers in our food supplies and how to provide for the poor in the US and other places.
I guess I hope GOD provides the finances I have been seeking to change the things I worry about.
Pray for me. I know GOD wants us to care for each other, but He hasn't provided for me to start these things.