The last of the summer bounty is in stores right now round these parts, and a few weeks ago I found the most beautiful, juicy, locally grown, organic peaches. 2 litres of organic peaches (about 10) for $3.98? Sign me up!
They were already ripe, so I thought I’d put them in the container that they came in (conveniently … and because I’m sometimes lazy) onto a shelf in the fridge, right?
Within a day, they were all mealy, with absolutely no juice and no taste. I seriously wouldn’t even feed them to my dog. If I had a dog. Which I don’t.
I ate them anyways, because I just couldn’t bring myself to throw them out, but I despised every second of it. It’s in my experience that hating what you’re eating always makes for bad digestion.
Couple that with getting a whole head of cabbage for the last 3 weeks in our CSA delivery, and all the potatoes we ever buy going bad in a matter of 2 weeks, and I’m sick of throwing out formerly perfectly good food because I have no idea how to store it.
My husband says that when he was a kid, his dad used to buy 20 lb. bags of potatoes and they would last months. Super kryptonite potatoes? Probably not. He just knew how to store them.
So, I’ve hit up the interwebs (aka Google) for you and compiled a list of the most common produce that most people (myself included) have no idea how to store properly.
Picture this: it’s back to school time, and you’re in the snack aisle of the grocery store. Your toddler is in the grocery cart screaming, and your 5 year old is running up and down the aisle, grabbing every box and putting it in the cart. A 60-year-old Grandma nearby is watching this scene unfold, silently judging you, wondering why the hell you can’t keep your kids under control. You may or may not want to maim her.
Wait, are those granola bars peanut free? What the hell is soy lecithin? Why is there FD&C Red #40 in that juice box?
Your own “Mommy Meltdown” is just seconds away, and who can blame you (except Judgy McJudge Grandma over there in aisle 4)?
Reading food labels and ingredients nowadays basically requires a Masters degree in biochemistry and food science, and it’s more frustrating than peeling a hard boiled egg.
Not only that, but there’s Health Check symbols, endorsements from celebrity personal trainers, and lovely colourful banners from the front of the package yelling “Pick me! I’m trans-fat free/low sodium/natural/healthy/won’t kill you (immediately)” to maneuver through, too.
No wonder everyone hates grocery shopping.
When I do my grocery store tours, I teach everyone that you don’t have to understand absolutely everything on food labels. You just need to know the basics, because:
- you might be shopping with kids, and have about 2.5 seconds to ignore their pleading to buy you Fruit by the Foot while you decide if it’s healthy enough or not
- food labelling laws change all the time
- you have better things to do … like just about everything else on your to-do list
To help you sort through all the info, and make a quick decision to buy a pre-packaged or canned good, here’s a cheat sheet that you can print out and take with you to the grocery store:
Maybe you or your child has a food allergy, life threatening or not, and you don’t want to spend the next few
days hours feeling like you want to barf (or, even worse, in the hospital after an anaphylactic reaction).
Maybe you have a sensitive digestive tract, like me, and sometimes you don’t know why you’re stuck on the toilet in the middle of the night when you didn’t eat anything obviously offensive.
Maybe you’re just trying to eat healthier, and can’t figure out if the stuffed mushroom caps or the veggie tempura is better. Because they both technically have vegetables in them, right?
This week, I’m about to do something that I haven’t done in 7 long ass years … fly to a city that I’ve never been to.
That’s right, the hubby and I are going to Vegas, baby, without our baby! We’re spending 4 glorious days there, with a little business stuff for me, and some gambling for Ben.
Kind of like a mullet: business in the front, and party in the back.
I sound all excited now, but come the day before I’ll be an absolute nervous wreck. Why the paralyzing fear? It all stems from not knowing what I’m going to be able to eat when I’m there.
Now that’s out there, let me explain.
I’m part of a book club, full of loving friends who know that I’m
outspoken passionate about my opinions, talk dirtier than a sailor (usually with my mouth full), and constantly interrupt other people.
This group of women allows me the space to be myself, even when I go home after meetings wondering if I should have thought twice about telling them the hilarious comment I made on the operating room table before my c-section about overgrown hair down there.
Yes, I’m that person at the table beside you at a fancy restaurant talking too loudly about sexual favours, bowel movements (baby or adult), or some other equally taboo subject, usually with hand gestures to match. Complete TMI verbal diarrhea.
Anyhoo, our last book was “Daring Greatly” by Brené Brown, and I feel like it was written just for my “perfection driven/constantly comparing/giving away the best of me until there is nothing left” self. If this sounds like you, do yourself a favour and buy a copy now. Seriously, now.
In our culture when you can read on Facebook, blogs, online magazines, and TMZ about what everyone and their dog ate for lunch, it makes me feel like I’m about 5 steps behind the pinnacle of healthy eating that I think every other holistic nutritionist is at.
I see them writing on their blog about fermenting their own kombucha, soaking and sprouting beans, making their own nut milks, or bottling water straight from a free-flowing spring in a forest.
*SWEAR WORD ALERT*
For those of you who don’t know, I live in gorgeous Southwestern Ontario, Canada, which sits parallel with Northern California on an old-fashioned globe.
We get the same hot and humid weather during the summer as the deep Southern states. Right now, as I type this, it’s 27°C, but with the humidex, it feels like 38°C. For those Fahrenheit lovers out there, that’s 100°F.
Not to steal the words from the Wicked Witch, but “I’m mellllltttttiiinnnng” doesn’t seem to cut it.
Although I hate this weather, I love the fresh produce that it brings.
And you know what in season produce means to this frugal foodie? Cheap food!
I’m not going to bore you with other benefits of eating local, in-season food. Details like:
- you’re supporting your local economy and sending someone’s kid to summer camp instead of lining the pockets of huge corporations
- your food isn’t travelling 5,000 miles across the world to get to you, which means it has way more nutrients and uses a fraction of the fossil fuels
- it freaking tastes 1,000% better. A few experts called my tastebuds conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled scientific study, and they concur
It pretty much benefits everybody and your wallet when you eat fresh, in season, locally grown fruits and veggies.
Then one tiny little detail stops you in your tracks: you don’t know what half that stuff actually is.