5 Tips For Better Food Practices

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One of the things I’ve been thinking about lately is how I can be a better citizen of the world and to put my beliefs into actions. One of the main ways I feel I can do that is to be a better consumer. If I am honest I haven’t always thought about where my food comes from and the impact my consumption has on people at home and around the world. As a financially stable person I’ve never had to think about where my next meal was coming from or the way in which my decisions could harm others. I’m not an expert yet but I’ve started thinking about these issues more and doing research. For me the starting point has been not wasting food and consuming less and these are the things that I’ve been doing to meet that goal.

1.) Do Research

I often hear that people don’t have time to research but I honestly feel that we can’t afford not to. It can be something as small as taking 10 minutes a week/month to read an article. But for those of us who are affluent and live in Europe or North America, for example, many of our food practices directly affect those living in less affluent countries and even those who produce our food in our own countries. If we want to be better citizens we have to develop practices that do not harm others and benefit everyone. Reading science based articles about food production and distribution arms us with the knowledge to buy wisely and not be led astray by gimics and health and diet fads which come and go.

2.) Use Pinterest

Besides having recipes and strange DIYs, Pinterest is full of good ideas about how to use leftovers, whether it’s some crusty bread or half of a chicken. There are also handy graphics of what produce is in season, measurement conversions and how to halve recipes.

3.) Check Your Fridge Every Morning

I’ve heard that you should check your bank account every morning but I have also started checking my fridge every morning that way I can see what leftovers have to be used up immediately. I can also see what needs to be added to my shopping list, see what we are and aren’t eating and make a plan to use up leftovers for lunches, dinners or snacks.

4.)Freeze It Right Away

I’ve often put something in the fridge hoping that I’d use it up that week and then not done so. Since there are only 2 of us and we aren’t big eaters I have started putting stuff in the freezer immediately. As soon as I am home from the store I divide up loaves of bread, for example and put half in the freezer.  Homemade pasta sauce, chili, and many other dishes can go in the freezer and if we want to eat it in 2 days it can easily be defrosted but if we don’t eat it for a month we haven’t thrown anything out.

5.) Make a shopping list

I’ve started planning my meals ahead of time and writing down the ingredients I’ll need. We’ve saved money and thrown out less food because we aren’t buying food we don’t need or won’t use that week.

This is just the starting point but I hope that doing these things makes the world a better place, even if only in a small way.

 

A Pre-Holiday Reading List

black-and-white-christmas-starThe holidays are very important for my family and I and I always look forward to them. Getting dressed up, setting the table, eating dinner together and opening my stocking Christmas morning are some of my favourite things. But whatever holiday you celebrate-or don’t- most of us have a few days off and so I’ve compiled a reading list to get us through the holidays and into the new year.

One of the most important things I’ve learned this year is that sometimes it’s important to take a break from political discussions and especially that I as a white person need to understand that other people don’t always need to talk about the big issues. Even more importantly I’ve learned that the ultimate goal of any activism is to bring people (of course I mean people that can be changed not hate groups) into the fold not to alienate them.

In Let Us Love The Hell Out Of This World Chris Crass writes something I found very helpful. He writes:

And this practice isn’t just about being more kind and loving towards each other.  It’s a practice of moving us from a place of primarily seeing shortcomings and feeling defeated, towards seeing possibilities to become the organizations, communities, activists, leaders, and campaigns we need, in order to win.  It’s a practice of being able to see and name steps that people and groups are taking to move us towards our goals, and affirming the work making that happen.  It’s a practice of bringing people along rather then shutting them down and it helps prepare us to not just be protesters of the injustices of existing society, but to be co-creators of the society we are working towards.

On a lighter note look to  The Fresh Exchange-Setting The Table for some beautiful and simple table decor ideas. Or if you’re a Francophile this article will help you bring out your inner Parisian.  11 Secrets The French Know About Holiday Entertaining That You Don’t (from My Domaine) And if you want some astrological advice to help you navigate this week the Astro Twins have you covered. Astro Twins Weekly Horoscope

If you’re a knitter like me, might I suggest the seed stitch? It’s so easy you can do it while binging the Gilmore Girls. A seed stitch scarf looks good one everyone and is perfect for wearing untied (apparently the must wear style for this winter) or bundled up if you live in  colder climate. How To Knit Seed Stitch-Craftsy

I’m a longtime Star Wars fan and can’t wait to see Rogue One. However, I agree with this Vulture piece when it says that Star Wars is not appropriate  as a political metaphor.

Therein lies the special danger of seeing politics through Star Wars. The series is a manifesto for anti-incumbent fury, screaming that the good people never have enough power and the bad people always have too much. When you see yourself as definitionally outgunned, purity of conviction starts to seem like your most valuable weapon — hardly the healthiest way to be a citizen.

Vulture-Be Wary of Star Wars’ Politics of Violence

In case you missed it, this Teen Vogue piece is some of the most insightful and helpful commentary yet.  Teen Vogue-Donald Trump is Gaslighting America

I’m at home in Canada for Christmas and it is a winter wonderland here. Beautiful though it may be these minus 40 degree temperatures have me dreaming of the Mediterranean. This blog post is full of beautiful pictures of Positano, Italy to inspire your next trip or take your mind to far off places. 22 Things To Do In Positano-We Are Travel Girls

I’m no fan of the “if you skip your morning coffee you’ll be a millionare” line of thinking towards money, which does appear from time to time on Young Adult Money. That said, paying off debt, giving more to charity and buying ethically are on my to do list for 2017 and this list has some helpful tips.Young Adult Money-100 Goals To Focus On For A Successful Year

Last but not least, the end of the year is a time for reflection so as 2016 draws to a close let’s remember the good things, the way we’ve changed and think about how we can do better personally and globally for 2017. Gala Darling-10 Questions To Ask Yourself To End 2016 Feeling Positive And Powerful

Let’s go into the holidays and the new year with love and compassion for ourselves and for others.