I learned a ton this weekend at the Midwest Renewable Energy Fair on everything from straw bale building to how to make a solar food dryer that works in Wisconsin, but what I want to share today are five tips on how to eat in a way that is healthy for your body, your wallet and your world.
Food is a great way to start changing the world. We vote with our forks three times a day.
Here are five things I plan to incorporate into my life.
Thank you, MREA.
Shop from your own shelves. Pick a time period of a week or two and stop going to the store. You may have to except a couple of things like milk or eggs, but don’t buy any new food. Concentrate on using up that tapioca pudding, seasoned rice and jar of pumkin mustard that you bought on impulse but have never gotten around to using. We all have items, and plenty of them that sit and sit in our cupboard while we go out an buy more food. You can save a bit of money and declutter your pantry at the same time. You may wonder why you never ate that pear-sage preserves that have been hogging prime real estate in your fridge drawer since Christmas before last. This idea came from Lisa Kivrist, author and host of Inn Serendipity. She starts the new year this way. I might not wait so long.
Defrost Frozen Food in your Fridge. This takes just a tiny bit of forethought. If you put frozen things in the fridge the night before you eat them, not only will you save microwave energy costs, you will save a bit of the money you spend to power your fridge, which will not have to cool so hard when you add frozen items. And four out of five Frugality Experts agree that we spend less on food in general when we know by 9 a.m. what we are having for dinner that night.
Carry a mess kit in your car. Then if you find yourself out and about when meal time strikes, you can pick up a few items at a grocery store and throw together a lunch rather than pay more for food at a restaurant. Make restaurant dining a true treat rather than a mindless convenience.
Eat in Season. Get in tune with your favorite foods and when they ripen. Fruits and vegetables have good years and bad just like wines, and it’s what makes life interesting. We just came through a particularly good asparagus season and a really retched strawberry harvest. Good or bad, there is nothing like local, fresh-picked produce.
Grow Your Own and Pay Attention to Varieties. For example, with a little luck, you can have fresh lettuce from April through Thanksgiving by staggering planting and using varieties that suit each part of the season. When you get seed from independent seed companies , you’ll find some very intriguing varieties. I learned this lettuce lore from Lisa Walk and Kathleen Plunkett-Black of Plum Creek Seeds, N3528 Co Rd D, Arkansaw, WI 54721. I also got my open pollinated, heirloom seeds from Plum Creek this year My greens were great and my tomatoes are very promising.