I haven’t really been following the peanut recalls since we stopped buying processed food – and what a GREAT time to do that! I happened on this link tonight showing all the recalled peanut products and my jaw dropped. The list goes on and on and on. The scary thing is there is no law governing what products need to be recalled unless they have been tested for salmonella, and there is no requirement to test.
So, how well do you trust the large food companies? Well you can see how deeply I trust them. Each day I research local food, purchase it, create meal plans and prepare it from scratch because I have lost all trust in our food chain. And this peanut scare has really solidified for me that I made the right decision.
Some people think I’m crazy for feeding my family raw milk. I say they are crazy for feeding their familes items synthesized in a laboratory from components not found in the natural food chain. Those items aren’t food and they aren’t nourishing.
If you don’t know what it is, don’t eat it. It sounds simple enough but if you try to apply that you end up doing what I am doing – making everything from scratch.
I know it does take time but in all honesty it doesn’t take *all* that much more time then the way I was preparing food before. There is a learning curve involved but I’m hoping with time that I can straighten that curve for at least one other person who may happen across this blog.
Spend 1 hour each night preparing food for the next day before you turn on the tv, or read, or surf the internet. You know you have tons of cookbooks you always say you’ll get to when you have the time. Make the time.
First tackle basic or snack items you would normally buy, like bread, pancakes, french toast, crackers or cookies.
You already know how to throw a quick meal together from simple ingredients – rice and bean burritos, cheese omelettes or soup. These are what I call cheater meals – things you can quickly throw together on a moment’s notice without any brainpower. That way the rest of the night you can prep for tomorrow night’s dinner. Add two or three cheater meals into your week so you can get ahead.
At night make pancake or muffin batter or presoak oatmeal so all you have to do in the morning is quick cook the oats for a few minutes to finish them, scoop muffins into muffin pans or fry up some quick pancakes. Then you can stop buying breakfast cereal.
Make bread on the weekends. I mix my bread starter one day and don’t bake bread sometimes for several days. Because the dough has had a chance to rest, the gluten in the dough develops almost by itself without requiring long kneading times. By the time I’m ready to make bread the bread is ready to be made so there is no long rising time, even in my cool house. And the phytic acid in the grain has had a chance to break down, making the vitamins and minerals in the grain more absorbable and easier to digest.
Freeze extra loaves of bread, muffins, breadsticks, pancakes, french toast and waffles so you can throw them in the toaster oven on a moment’s notice.
Make double batches of braises, stews, soups and casseroles and invest in some good quality freezer containers. I especially love the glass covers with plastic lids – they can go from freezer to oven just like those “convenient” frozen foods at the grocers that cost you an arm and a leg (literally, when they fall off from diabetes!) Instead of buying convenience items at the store you can grab them from your freezer when you really need them and you’ll know exactly what’s in them when the next recall notice comes out.
It does take discipline and forethought but once you get into a groove it won’t be overwhelming, I promise. Just start small with one item a week. The next week add another item. In a month you won’t be looking back!