Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Those Sneaky Snacks

I did my weekly shopping, as per usual, at the end of last week. I feel pretty good about the origin and ownership of most of the grocery items I purchase. As I’ve written on numerous occasions, for me, ethicality trumps eco-friendly when they come into conflict. Many of the not so benevolent multi-national companies have jumped on-board the eco-friendly product bandwagon while still doing untold harm to the environment and/or their workers.

There was something that bugged me when I shopped last week, however. I’ve slowly let more processed foods creep into my trolley. Because the ones I buy are reasonably healthy and ethical I’ve let it happen. I don’t really think it’s okay, though. The more I buy that’s processed the more packaging I’m throwing into the rubbish. Even if the packaging is recyclable there is fossil fuel energy used in the process.

I don’t even know why I’ve been doing it. We always have snack appropriate food in the house anyway. It may not involve instant gratification but is that a bad thing? So what if you have to wash a piece of fruit before eating it or cut some cheese to put on crackers? Is it really too much work to make a cheese and tomato toasty? It’s quick and easy to grab a handful of almonds or walnuts, which we usually have in the house. I know a good many of them are also packaged but, to me, they’re necessary food items. I’ve been buying rice snacks and banana chips. Goodness knows, we’ve got fresh bananas!

In the ideal world where I’m drowning in free time I’d have far fewer items and do much more cooking. I’d bake my own bread, crackers, wraps and rolls. I’d do my own pasta and muesli. I’d spend hours reducing kilos of tomatoes into passatta. For now, however, they’re some of my staples. That’s enough. No need for processed snacks.



  1. It IS a constant battle. I live with two people who swing madly between their naturally self-indulgent food habits and their OMG it's time to train... We're currently at the beginning of a 60 day challenge to see which one of them can change their body shape the most...SO, the food... I'm having my own OMG moment, because suddenly, MY diet is being impacted again by yet another set of books, rules, absolutes and supplements... And then there's the kosher issue - which is more of an issue for me than them to be honest, which is an ongoing cause of periodic discomfort for me.

    So, in my own recent reading, I've come across two things that make more sense than all the expensive books, dvds, magazine subscriptions, etc, that I've watched move through our house over the years... 1. Eat as our grandparents ate. Pre-processed...unless it's preserving surplus by making jam, canning, or freezing. And live like they did too - so, lots of fresh seasonal food; walk instead of driving; get physical - if you can't get out there and plow that field, skip, run, ride a bike, lift some weights; don't ban any of the food groups, just eat sensibly, slowly, at the table with no TV, chat with each other and stop wen you're full. 2. The French. All that cheese, good bread, wine, sauces, desserts...and obesity isn't the problem in France that it is here... Why? Simple: Eat good fresh, seasonal food in a balanced diet; eat mindfully - at the table, no TV, taking your time; keep portion sizes reasonable - they eat multi-course meals as a matter of course...difference being that an entree is just a few mouthfuls, not a full plate of food....

    In both cases, the common thread is to eat fresh, seasonal produce, and don't buy stuff in boxes. If the food on your plate doesn't look too much different tan it did when you bought it, you're on the right track.

    Sorry - bit of a rant. Left to my own devices I don't have food or weight issues. Trying to navigate through the maze here...both become a tricky addition to life I never used to have.

    I am loving your blog, BTW.

    K x

  2. I agree with your theories about living like our grandparents and the French!