Our Food Evolution

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Crystal's post today about things her family doesn't buy made me think about a similar topic that has been brewing as a blog post in the back of my mind for a while: food we don't buy. Since getting married five years ago, the things we eat have really transformed. And I attribute that to my amazing husband's growing love for cooking {hallelujah!}.

It's not that I hate cooking, it's just that the thought of it exhausts me. Especially after working an 8-10 hour day. The thought of coming home and having to prepare a meal {and then having to clean up from said meal} just makes me want to cry. Maybe I'm crazy -- or maybe it's just that my limits are narrower than most. I don't know. But luckily, my hubs truly enjoys cooking, so he cooks and I do the dishes and we are so much happier this way.

Before, when we were newly married & I was trapped in the belief that I should be the one to meal plan and cook because of my gender {!}, our typical meals each week were vastly different than they are now. Here's just a sampling of things that we used to buy with frequency that we don't anymore:

-Pasta {we had pasta several times a week}
-Frozen pizza {we do enjoy making our own pizzas now, especially with a yummy garlic & herb crust I recently stumbled upon at Trader Joe's!}
-Bread {sometimes I will buy a loaf of sourdough from a local bakery, but not often -- and I don't remember the last time I bought sliced bread from a grocery store}
-Lunch meat {I think I ate it so often that I'm just not a fan anymore}
-Kraft mac 'n' cheese :)
-Chips {I love love love BBQ chips, but I try not to buy them because I have no will power! we used to buy chips a lot}
-Hot dogs {say what you will, but they're easy}
-Fish sticks {ok, this was totally me. they remind me of my childhood! Wes wasn't so much a fan}

And what do we buy now that we didn't then? Honestly, I think we just find & make a lot more recipes than we used to. I frequent Skinny Taste and Dashing Dish for healthy & yummy recipes. And Wes reads Mastering the Art of French Cooking for fun {seriously}. He's also a fan of Anthony Bourdain & Eric Ripert. {He totally has more cookbooks than I do!} You can find some of my favorite recipes on Pinterest -- and I'm always looking for more, so please share your favorite recipe/website/cookbook in the comments!

Finally, and somewhat related -- I really do make an effort to purchase organically when I can. Often, I find there's not much of a price difference, and it's totally worth it. But let's be honest: sometimes I decide I'd rather pay $0.79 for a bell pepper instead of $3.59, so I'm not perfect. I try to be especially careful when it comes to the dirty dozen {despite my bell pepper example!}.

Food, Inc. {and articles like this} really changed my perspective on the meat industry. I now refuse to buy meat from anywhere that does not ensure high animal welfare standards & no hormones/antibiotic usage {which pretty much limits me to local farmers/CSAs, Whole Foods, and Trader Joe's -- at least in Louisville}. I won't buy eggs unless they're cage free {I love California's cage-free law!}, and I only buy organic milk {if I'm honest, more for the cows' sake than my own!}. I'm always trying to learn & develop more in the area of eating high-quality foods, even if they cost more. Perhaps what I pay in a grocery bill now I won't have to pay in a hospital or doctor bill later? And in my mind, the welfare of animals matters, period. I want to care about the quality of life animals have while they're living, even if their eventual end is my dinner table. It matters, and I'm willing to pay more to support cruelty-free, ethical farming.

So those are my thoughts on food & our food evolution, so to speak. {Have you heard of Jamie Oliver's food revolution? I think what he's doing is awesome.} Have you any thoughts of your own to share?


Ashley said...

I have a husband who is very stuck in his food-eating ways, so we still eat many of the same things we did when we first met ... a lot of which I would prefer to be healthier. But I have to admit, I love our Friday tradition of chicken nuggets and french fries, and I don't know that I could give up mac and cheese either. That totally makes me an unsophisticated eater, right?

Say something...