Thursday, March 3, 2011

food thoughts

i've always been a fairly healthy eater (with a weakness for a sweet or salty treat here and there!), but in the last few years i've become more and more concerned with the food that goes in our mouths...especially my two little ones! it can become increasingly overwhelming to make the right choices...not to mention expensive. farmed vs. wild, organic vs. local, fresh vs. frozen, bulk vs. packaged, vegetarian vs. vegan vs. locavore, glass vs. plastic (bpa-free, of course!) . my head is spinning!

is there anything better than local, oregon strawberries?!

here are a few things that we do to feel good about the food that nourishes us:

  • i try to follow this list of the top offenders in regards to pesiticides when making my organic purchasing decisions (and this list to feel ok about not buying organic!).
  • loved making baby food for my babies...providing them with much more healthly and fresh purees, not to mention saving us money made it a joy and not a task - and really it was SO easy.
  • we've been csa members for the last four years. the first three we were members at Sungold Farms and last year we checked out Dinihanian's Farm. both of these farms delivered right nike every week - it was so great! i'm now researching other csa's and feeling a bit frustrated because the pick up locations are so far from me! i'm actually leaning towards going back to Sungold Farms and picking up at Nike (shh...don't tell!) or they also have a Lake Oswego drop off. if you are interested in joining a csa (and we highly recommend it!), check out local harvest - it's a great resource. yes, you will get fruit and veggies that you have no idea what to do with and you will have to cook a lot of veggies, but it's so fun, healthy and worth it.

a couple of pictures from the June 2009 Sungold Farm day for CSA members - hayrides and exploring the farm + lots of strawberries!

  • csa's are typically around 18 weeks, so this year we decided to receive a weekly delivery from organics to you. every thursday we get a box full of fruit and veggies delivered to our doorstep. when they can, they try to stock their boxes from local farms...but right now there isn't a lot growing in our area, so there is a lot from california. it's a bit spendy ($33/wk for a small box), but if you have a chinook book there is a coupon for 1 free box after you buy 4 boxes and you can also use it twice. we've enjoyed it so far and will continue until our csa starts up again.

the contents of our delivery from today (look at the size of that beet!)

  • we rarely eat fast food and when/if we do...i can almost guarantee it'll be burgerville! not sure if it's much better, but at least i feel good that their food is fresh, local and sustainable. (and their current special of portabello mushroom wedges, yum!).
  • we eat very little packaged foods...although trader joes sure does have some winners that we do enjoy! (organic trader joes o's...basically spaghettios!, tempura battered halibut for easy fish tacos, mandarin orange chicken, snap pea crisps)
  • we've tried to eliminate or greatly reduce our "white" food intake. we cook with mostly whole wheat flour (or brown rice gluten free flour for maya!), brown rice, quinoa (costco sells a big bag of organic quinoa for a steal!), dave's killer bread (another awesome costco item...although winco now sells it for just as cheap!).
  • and just so you don't think we are totally health nuts - you can almost guarantee to find anywhere from 1-3 cartons of ice cream in our fridge at any given time and we have at least a couple of pounds of m&m's in our snack drawer. but...we used to buy dreyers slow churned, until we decided it didn't quite taste like ice cream (a little chemicall-y) and now we typically buy tillamook or umpqua, which tastes delicious! should it be organic though? ah. it's dessert, so it doesn't count...right!? ;)

some things we are thinking about - going vegan for a week (thank you oprah, for the idea) and/or eating vegan/veggies at least 1x week. kind of opposite, but also thinking about buying a quarter/half of a locally raised, humanely slaughtered beef - anyone else interested? i would love to have a garden, but i know myself too well and know it would just be a chore for me and not enjoyable!

here is a delicious and healthy recipe a friend recently shared with me: Quinoa Red Lentil Stew. it's super easy - the recipe is a crock pot recipe, but i didn't have time and cooked it on the stove in just over an hour. it's also very could really use any combo of veggies. i had rutabaga (from our weekly delivery) and added it. didn't have cinnamon stick or ginger, so left it out. don't love rosemary, so left it out! wanted the kids to enjoy it so left out the jalapeno. maya ate it up...although by the third night of eating it was done! kellen was a little hesitant but with a little enouragment ate the whole bowl. i actually added organic chicken thighs (more fat and iron for my kiddos!) to it and it was delish.

what food choices do you make and what do you use to base your decisions on? anyone else csa members and recommend your farm? do you struggle with these things like i do? please share!

1 comment:

the o's said...

LOVE this post! i need to get back on the bandwagon of fresh produce... right now we can barely get a salad on the table w/ dinner! i cannot wait for farmers market to start again though... love the pics. can't believe how little kellen was - time does fly! :)