changing the way we eat…

Seriously, we can be such idiots when we are hungry.

Do you realize that we have completely transformed what, when and how we eat, since our great-grandparent’s day?  We live our lives in such a hurry, eating in our cars, in front of our televisions sets or standing in the kitchen.  We throw frozen food in little plastic trays in the microwave and don’t even give it a second thought.  We have forgotten to stop and enjoy the aromas, feel the textures or even taste our food.  (I’m guilty too!)

Back in our great-grandparents day, or even our grandparents day (depending on your age), most had gardens and did their own growing and harvesting.   As Michael Pollan states, “If it came from the planet, eat it.  If it was made in a plant, don’t.”

Back in the 1850s, the women of rural American were still  primarily cooking with ingredients that were grown on their own farms or in their gardens.  Any foods  they couldn’t produce themselves were often purchased in bulk  from the local general store. Can  you imagine if our ancestors were to walk into our grocery stores today?  The center of the store, where the packaged, over processed foods live, is larger than the produce section!

Our ancestors ate whole and unprocessed vegetables, along with fruits, grains, beans and nuts.  They didn’t run to the freezer section to grab some frozen french fries or a lean cuisine.

Somewhere along the way we became disconnected from the real foods that have to be plucked, harvested or squeezed and have chosen the ‘easy‘ way.

The good news is that we CAN change and our health will benefit in the long run.

Buy live, organic foods.  If you are able to make a trip each day to the store your food will be that much fresher!  Take a few minutes to inspect your produce carefully.  Remember, organic produce may be less colorful or less perfectly shaped, but have you every bought a big, red tomato from the grocery store only to find out that it was weak and had no flavor?  YUK!  They might not look perfect, but at least you know there aren’t pesticides sprayed all over them.

Start paying attention to the times of the day that you eat your food.  Use all your senses.  Look at your food, smell your food and enjoy your food!  Make it special!  Turn off the television and play some relaxing music.  Start your meal off with a blessing.  Sit at the table, even if you are alone, and maybe it’s time to pull out the good china!  Try to place your fork back on the plate after each bite so you can focus on what you are eating.

You’re worth it!  The point is to be relaxed and chew slowly.

Now…be sure you have living foods on your plate!  You may be surprised to find that by making good choices now, you can dramatically improve the quality of your life!

organic farms till it like it is…… ;)

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, more that 34 million tons of food waste were generated in 2010, second only to paper. (via timefreepress.com)

You recycle your bottles and newspapers, you upcycle thrift store finds into decor treasures, and you reuse all your plastic bags. But do you upcycle your food scraps?  We’re not talking compost (yet), we’re talking re-growing food from scraps you might have tossed right into the garbage!

Turns out, several odds and ends you might have tossed can be re-grown into more food!

Scallions

When your recipe only calls for the green part of the scallions, don’t toss the white end with the roots. Stick it in a glass jar with a little water and the greens will grow back. You can just snip off what you need as you go. This also works with leeks.

Lemongrass

This delicious, aromatic herb is really just a grass and will grow well in a pot in a sunny spot. Take the root ends (after you’ve used the rest in a recipe) and put in a jar of water in a sunny spot. After a week or so, you’ll start to see roots appearing. Once the roots look healthy, transplant your lemongrass to a pot and let it grow. You can start harvesting when the stalks get to be a foot or more tall.

Celery

The next time you’re chopping a bunch of celery, save the root end! Place it in a shallow bowl of water, and after a few days, you should start to see roots and new leaves appear. As soon as you see these, you can plant the celery — leaving the leaves just above the soil.  The plant will continue to grow, and soon you’ll have a whole new head of celery!

Ginger

Did you know that ginger makes a beautiful (and useful) houseplant? If you’ve got a piece of fresh ginger going spare in your fridge, you can plant it in potting soil. Ginger is a root, and before long, you’ll notice a lovely plant sprouting from it. Once the plant is big enough, you can actually pull it up, whack off a piece of the root, and replant it whenever you need fresh ginger–or just enjoy your culinary houseplant.

Pineapple

Here’s a way to grow pineapple at home from a pineapple!  Pick one with healthy, green  leaves on top.  Some brown tips are normal, but the center leaves should be all green.  You need a 12 inch wide by 12 inch tall pot filled with potting  soil mixed with compost.  You can start them in smaller pots, then transfer them to larger pots.  Pineapples don’t like wet soil, so be sure your potting soil has an additive like vermeculite  to promote drainage.  The pineapple can stay in this pot, but the plant can grow up to 4 feet tall and 6 feet wide, so you may need some help when moving it!

Want to learn more about composting?  Check out what the University of Oregon has to say about the subject, which is a LOT!

Organic Gardening online magazine is another great site that can give you even more hints!  Now….get out and get dirty!!