Saturday, July 16, 2011

How Plastic Relates to Gluten-Free Eating & Your Health

Despite my best intentions, I failed to request no plastic straw in my drink every single time in the two weeks we were on vacation in Maui. Not even one single time did I remember... And not even one time since then have I remembered. I suppose it's just something I'll have to get in the habit of doing. Like taking my vitamins with dinner. I always forget to do that too... But in the grand scheme of things, we don't eat out often, so sadly I don't forsee this being something that I do get in the habit of asking for. Going out for dinner likely produces more plastic than staying home anyways. It's probably for the best. And yet I think of the heap of plastic that we amass on a weekly basis & struggle to see how eating at a restaurant can be worse in terms of disposable plastic. I guess it depends on the restaurant too. Many use premade sauces and marinades shipped in giant bags, but some certainly make their own. But they're still making them from ingredients that enter the restaurant in packaging of some sort.

This would be the benefit of keeping ALL of your plastic trash for a week long period. You are really able to see how much you're throwing out. One doesn't necessarily have a grasp on how much they're contributing to the landfill, even if they're the one taking the trash out to the curb on garbage day. When you're able to actually see the pile growing larger it's far easier to understand the impact your house has on the health of our planet.

And that's what this is really all about. I write a food blog, and maybe you wonder why I'm so hung up on this whole plastic issue sometimes. I write a food blog not only because I am a nutritionist and have interests in health, but also because I am (to a small degree) a bit of a foodie. Call me a food-snob if you wish. I love to cook food, smell food, prepare food and most importantly eat it!

Growing up in a household that was the product of a divorce there was understandably not much money to go around. The quality of the food we ate sometimes wasn't "up there". I mean no disrespect whatsoever to anyone who contributed in any way to my childhood, but I can only speak the truth. As a (likely direct) result, I have a passion for good food. I seek out organic, I seek out local & I seek out artisanal on top of (of course) gluten free. And in order to grow good, organic, local food you need to start with good dirt.

Taking care of our planet is critical in being able to grow nourishing tasty food. For many years we as a society have taken advantage of mother earth, and for many more years to come we will pay the price. I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. Cause & effect. Karma's a bitch my friends, and that's all the more reason to start a garden in your backyard this year. It's never too late. Choose healthy, quality ingredients to bring into your kitchen (YOU can be your own quality control!). The freshest of those can be harvested from your very own land. Whether it be container gardening on your 12th floor apartment building (like we did last year- here's a great place to start) or by ripping out the Hostas from the landlords flowerbed to make room for carrots.

We bury our compostables at the base of this rhubarb plant, which makes for a jungle of tart red stalks.  Food that comes in a compostable package (I'm not talking about sunchips bags, here) is that of nature. The trimmings from a head of lettuce or a bunch of carrots (okay, our bunny gets those), eggshells, soggy spinach, potato peelings, pear cores, avocado shells: these will all feed your soil. Don't throw them out. Feed mother nature, and she will in turn feed you back. Choose to buy groceries that you can bury under the rhubarb plant, raspberry bush or elm tree rather than those that need to go in the garbage can.

Our backyard tomato plant

My grandparents have been living in the same house for the last 36 years with a garden in the back. For the last few years the veggies really haven't been thriving. They've tested the soil a few times & even had a few truckloads of manure dumped on it with hopes resurrecting the bountiful garden they've always known, but again this year with no luck. When you fail to nurture something as important as the soil that grows your food, the soil will neglect you back. When you take advantage of the planet you live on, it too will fail to provide its end of the bargain.

Reduce first & foremost before you reuse or recycle. Show your support for our little blue planet by limiting your plastic consumption. It does make a difference.

1 comment:

  1. I too was raised by a single parent and we ate mostly TV dinners and fast food. I've always considered cooking to be an act of supreme rebellion. I just love it when I can do something that's better for me, cheaper for me, better for the planet and tells the corporate overlords to go suck it, all at the same time!