I’ve never been much of a health nut, but there are a few things I’ve tried to pay attention to. I avoid drinking soda as much as possible, especially anything with corn syrup in it. I buy organic meat (no steroids), and preferably buy the stuff raised the old-fashioned way and not on a large industrialized farm. I drink soymilk instead of regular milk, especially since the doctor recommended that one to me. I eat organic oatmeal. Other than the occasional splurging on fresh organic fruit or a trip to Zingerman’s, that’s about the extend of my organic buying.
A friend who is very big into the organic food and local farming lifestyle has kind of given me a bit more motivation to try harder. After my last shopping spree, I’ve managed to convert about 1/3 of my diet to all organic products without really raising my grocery bill much. I still have a ways to go.
The biggest problem I’m noticing is a lack of pre-made or semi-made foods that are all organic. For example, I can get the ingredients to make some kick-ass pasta sauce (along with all organic wheat pasta) easily enough, but finding a bottle of already made sauce is another thing altogether. I’m lazy. I don’t really know how to cook, and even if I did, I don’t think it would be something I’d do more than once or twice a week. Especially not in this stupid apartment with the neglectful landlord who won’t get rid of the ant problem that makes my kitchen close to unusable.
So, most of the organic food I’ve bought is stuff I can eat with little to no cooking or preparation. That mostly comes down to snacks and light meals, but not the kind of stuff I can really live off. I’d love to see a bigger variety in organic cheeses (the only ones I can find are generally whole wheels that cost a fortune), pre-made sauces and side-dishes, and so on. I’d also like to see a bigger variety in organic and whole-wheat pasta; I can’t find farfelle organic pasta for the life of me, for example.
Assuming I could find such products, I could get my diet up to at least 3/4 organic foods, with the rest of my diet being from restaurants (and several of my favorite restaurants are all organic).
My last major sin in terms of food consumption would then be that I drink bottled water. A lot of bottled water. About 150% to 200% of what the average person goes through. I don’t know why, but my body needs more water than most people. I sweat heavily even in cold weather. My father is the same way. Also, I just can’t freaking stand tap water. I mean, to the point that drinking it actually makes me gag a little. It might be that I was raised on nasty well water and I’ve been conditioned to hate tap water, but I swear even the filtered city water I have now is pretty gross. Now, I don’t believe that bottled water is bad for me (it isn’t), or even that drinking that water is bad for the environment (it isn’t), but the huge number of plastic bottles I go through is enormous. We don’t have recycling collection around here, and even if we did, it’s generally shown that recycling creates more waste due to the energy recycling and collection requires than just throwing the stuff out. I’ve tried a few alternatives to drinking bottled water, including the reusable water jugs that stores like Meijer has, but that water tastes almost as bad as tap water (that’s probably all it is). I wonder what other alternatives are available given that I just will not drink tap water?
My cupboards currently contain a few foods I bought earlier this month that, once consumed, I’ll replace with organics. I’ve got a jar of peanut butter (which, honestly, I need to cut out of my diet - that stuff is going to be the death of me), some farfelle, Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, and some jars of Kroger brand strawberry preserves. Everything else is organic, a lot of stuff is whole-wheat (I haven’t eaten white bread in more years than I can count, except for the occasional baguette), and a few things are possibly even locally grown (most of it isn’t, though).
I’ve also started taking some “all natural” vitamin supplements, as it’s been pointed out to me that my general diet sucks and I’m probably missing all sorts of crap my body needs, which combined with my lack of working out for the last year and half has led to some severely deteriorated health. I’m sick for the second time in less than a month, for example.
Laura also gave me some recipes for some very easy to prepare dishes I might try out once the fucking ant problem is solved. (This might have to result in me threatening legal action for landlord negligence due to failure to correct unsanitary living conditions. Fun.)