Having a stocked fridge is more complicated, because it has a lot more to do with knowing what you have and using it before it rots then the pantry or freezer.
Our fridge has a lot of condiments- different types of hot sauce, bottled salad dressings for when I'm running low on ingredients or time to make my own, and flavourful sauces for stir fry's and meals such as soy sauce, rice vinegar, maple syrup (the real stuff!), and dijon mustard. I think condiments could take over the world if we let them, and they are one of the groupings in a fridge that can definitely get out of control. If you haven't looked at your condiments lately, spend a few minutes getting rid of expired, old, or moldy items. I've seen jarred garlic, ginger, and jam go moldy, so never assume it's ok if it's been a while since you've opened it.
We have grapefruit accessible as my husband eats that every day for breakfast and they are too big to fit in my fruit crisper. I have the baby carrots my son loves ready to go and easy to see in a container on the lower shelf. I've grouped all my dairy together in 3 places- cheese strings in the pull out drawer on the bottom for the kids to grab for their lunches, coffee cream and milk in the middle, and cheeses, yogurt, and sour cream on the lower shelf next to the carrots.
All our leftovers are hanging out together by date- yesterday's leftovers on the top, and previous ones in the middle. Today I'm assembling the leftover moussaka ingredients to make one for the freezer, and that will clear out the middle space to leave room for any other leftovers we make.
My crispers are full of vegetables and fruit. We generally plan our meals around what's living in these drawers, because if something is going to go rotten and get thrown out, it's vegetables and fruit. We have lettuce, beets, carrots, parsley, and celery in the one...apples, oranges, clementines, and kiwi in the other. Before I buy more vegetables and fruit these need to be substantially emptied. I have a butternut squash living up on the top of my fridge with leftovers, and that is going to be roasted tonight for dinner, and we'll eat steamed beets as well.
I'll share a couple of ideas to make the most out of your fridge space. Please don't hesitate to connect with me if you need some more personalized help :)
A stocked fridge is more personal, depending on what you like to eat. A wide variety of fruits and vegetables, dairy, and condiments are my main go-to's when planning meals and snacks. The point of shopping for fresh food each week is to eat what you buy, so plan your meals and stick to your list. It's so easy to go overboard with good intentions when shopping, especially when you've got people with you or you're hungry to begin with, but that's how food waste happens.
Your fridge and freezer are the perfect places to put together flavourful, healthy meals that make your tastebuds sing. You can make your food budget go so much further when you cook for yourself, and I encourage you to find a way to incorporate more of this in your own life. Not only will your wallet thank you, but your body will as well. I offer a meal-planning service that can be personalized to you, your time, your tastes, and your fridge/freezer/pantry. I'd love to chat to see how I can help you use what you have!
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When we think of futuristic grocery shopping, we think about the ability to order online, pay and pick up for your groceries, or sometimes home delivery through amazing companies such as The Organic Box or Spud. For many of us, that future is already here. My imagination jumped a step further ahead the last couple of weeks with the news that the sugar industry as a whole has lied to the public for the last 5 decades. What will groceries even look like?
You can read about the lies here, here, and here if you'd like to know more about them. What makes me the most angry is how much misinformation was scattered about and regarded as factual. We are generations into rising obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and so on.
"In short, rather than do definitive research to learn the truth about its product, good or bad, the association stuck to a PR scheme designed to "establish with the broadest possible audience—virtually everyone is a consumer—the safety of sugar as a food." One of its first acts was to establish a Food & Nutrition Advisory Council consisting of a half-dozen physicians and two dentists willing to defend sugar's place in a healthy diet, and set aside roughly $60,000 per year (more than $220,000 today) to cover its cost." - (copied and pasted from: http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2012/10/sugar-industry-lies-campaign)
Surely our shopping and eating habits will change. I was in high school in the early 1990's when the shift moved to low or non-fat foods. How does food taste good when all the fat is removed? Add sugar. Our entire snack and cooking industry has evolved to include sugar in just about every form. It's not just cakes, cookies, icing, and boxed cereals to point the finger at either. Salad dressings, ketchup, canned tomato soup, canned fruit, even our favourite bread for toasting and sandwiches comes with added sugar.
Over the years I've morphed almost all my recipes to remove added sugar when possible- made the switch to tomato paste, for example, instead of tomato soup. Ingredients list: tomatoes. It's definitely a learning curve, and not an easy one for our taste buds. My friend Kareema wrote about sugar addiction here on her guest blog post. Everyone in our family noticed the change in flavour and it took some time to get used to. But how will things change with the way food is produced, stored, and sold in the future?
Is the grocery store of the future a place where everything is produced locally and made fresh that very day? Would a return to a "farm to table" mentality take over so we wouldn't have the same need for shelf life? Who can say? But one thing I do know is that we as a species cannot continue to knowingly fill our pantries and tummies with food that contains sugar, something we are just now starting to learn the extent of the damage it can do. It will take a public shift of perception to force companies to take a look at the items added to our food supply, but in the long run I think there will be no other option. As long as evidence continues to surface that the food we eat is killing us slowly, there will have to be a change in the mass production and marketing of food.
Will processed groceries ever be truly healthy? How will we know for sure? If a lie of this magnitude can be perpetuated for half a century, what untruths do we believe today?
And that's my 2 cents for today. I hope you're enjoying your weekend, friends.