I live in a small town. Our food shopping choices are a family owned grocery that carries just the basics and has a small deli and meat counter or Dollar General. There are no supermarkets here. Once or twice a month we’ll trek 25 minutes down the road to the bigger small town and load up on groceries at Meijer.
We are a day away from shopping day and, while we have an abundance of zucchini and cherry tomatoes from the garden we are woefully short on staples. No bread, no tortillas, no flour to make bread or tortillas. We are out of eggs, pasta, beans and rice. The meat in the freezer has been used up. Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard is bare!
What can I say? It’s been a busy month!
This morning my fabulous, loyal, loving family helped me clean up from VBS. We got home at noon. Everyone was starving. Handsome Hippie Hubby had 1 hour before he had to go to work. I wanted to give him a few minutes to relax. “I’ll go to the store and get something quick for lunch,” I said.
Easy enough, right?
Except that I had committed us to a 100% GMO free diet. (A future blog post about that when we’re a little further down that road). This basically means that, unless it is specifically labeled as “organic” or “non-GMO” there can’t be any corn or soy in anything I buy. Also, no animal products that come from animals who ate GMO corn or soy… which would be anything not specifically labeled “organic” or bought from a local farmer who can tell me what the animal ate. Anything with sugar has to be “organic” or specifically labeled as cane sugar since most other sugar comes from GMO sugar beets.
OK…. so I have to be aware of 3 items plus animal products… but HOW HARD CAN IT BE TO MAKE A QUICK NO-GMO MEAL?
I headed to Dollar General because I needed dog food and it’s significantly cheaper there.
Plan A: I’ll get a can of vegetarian baked beans, some good bread and some applesauce. It’s a little bit of a weird combination, but it’s super fast and easy and everyone in the house will eat it.
Except: Dollar General was out of vegetarian baked beans. Regular baked beans all have bacon.
I’m flexible. I can deal.
Plan B: Vegetarian refried beans and tortillas.
Except: Every brand of flour tortillas they sold had soybean oil, corn syrup, corn starch or a combination of those..
Plan C: Spaghetti! Everyone loves spaghetti!
Except: Every brand of spaghetti sauce there had corn starch or sugar.
Plan C: PB & J
Except: Every brand of bread had soybean oil or corn syrup. Every brand of peanut butter had sugar.
Well… poop! Forget it! I’ll go to the little grocery store.
So I paid for my dog food and zipped down the road 2 miles to the other end of town where they did have vegetarian baked beans… made with corn starch.
Alright. Now I’m getting a little frustrated!
Plan D: I’ll just buy a dozen eggs and make scrambled eggs and serve them with fruit.
Except: While they did have white eggs and brown eggs, small eggs and large eggs and even cage free eggs, there were no organic eggs.
I’ve now spent over half of my husband’s available free time trying to find something I can feed the poor man before I send him in to work.
I ended up with a pile of fruit for fruit salad.
Every day I am becoming more aware of how important it is to be knowledgeable about what you are putting into your body every day! Those 3 items – corn, soy and sugar – are in more than 80% of all packaged food in the US! Did you know you (if you are like the average American consumer) are eating the same things 3 meals a day?
If you’re looking for something in a can or box it can be very nearly impossible.
On the other hand, there really isn’t anything faster, easier or healthier than fresh fruit. Lesson learned!
Are you, too, seeking to save the earth, promote world peace and raise productive citizens without expending too much effort?
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If we work on our goals together, they may be a little easier to achieve!