No New Year’s Resolutions, but Three (Green) Goals for 2011

by Anne Maxfield on December 27, 2010

Accidental Locavore Fridge Before

For 2011 here are three goals the Accidental Locavore is setting, no resolutions, just goals . They’re not big, just some small steps in the right direction. How about you?
1.    Support local business. Whether it’s a local grower, farmer, purveyor, or the small very specialized business down the street, local is better. And get out of your comfort zone with food. Try a cut of meat you’ve never had, experiment with an unusual vegetable at your farmer’s market, or go for a different type of fish that might be more sustainable than the best-sellers. Most sellers (especially when it comes to food) are more than happy to explain what it is and share ideas on how best to cook it. You can’t believe how much I’ve learned from talking to the people behind the counter. That’s one of my favorite things about farmer’s markets and local purveyors.
2.    Clean out your refrigerator, and fill your freezer. Believe it or not, the experts say you’re supposed to clean your fridge every time you go grocery shopping. If by cleaning, they mean shoving stuff around to make room for the new food, I’m there. You know that’s not it. We’re all guilty of keeping stuff around past its prime, or not tossing that bottle of ______ that no one will touch. And how many jars of mustard do you have in your fridge? There are at least 4 in mine (that I can find). So I’m going to do a complete cleaning and toss all the science experiments. Then when I reload it, I’ll do it the smart way, so everything stays fresh as long as possible. If you have questions about keeping or tossing food here’s a useful site (that my mother has never been to).
Why fill your freezer? A full freezer works better and more efficiently than a partially full one. Mine must be working pretty well….
3.    Swap plastic for ___? Here’s where I could use some help. We go through an amazing amount of plastic food storage bags, and while I’ve made some inroads in swapping some Ziplocs for small, reusable containers, I’m always tossing plastic bags. Is aluminum foil a better option? Wax paper? What do other people use? I (mostly) store in glass or ceramic containers, but even so, most of them have plastic lids. Never microwave in anything but glass or china, with a paper towel on top, but then there’s the paper towel problem…dishtowels are great for a lot of uses, however they always have to be washed.  What about the grocery store/farmer’s market? My ChicoBag is always with me, but it doesn’t separate the scallions from the strawberries. So what do you use? Or do you just try to minimize the plastic bag use, and make up for it somewhere else?  I’d love your ideas.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Michelle December 29, 2010 at 9:12 am

Hey Anne, I’m on board with all three of those. I’ve been shopping local for 2+ years, and what a difference it makes for food quality. We’re lucky enough to have local farm fresh food home delivered weekly. (www.cowtruck.com) I’m so spoiled!

But #2 & #3 are a challenge for me. I have thought more than once about trying to stop shopping and just use what’s in the fridge and cupboard to see how long my family of four last on what’s inside. Never been brave enough.

And, I also lament the plastic bags, plastic wrap and paper towel usage. We buy them at BJs Wholesale club, because with 2 elementary school kids who take lunch to school every day, we speed through the bags. I send little Tupperware containers for hummus or salsa, but not for sandwiches or snacks. The lunch tip I’m most proud of is that we no longer buy juice boxes. The kids prefer to take their metal water bottle. The PTO sold one with the school mascot on it, and now they think that’s cool. (And, it saved me from buying those blue ice packs!)

So my goal is to not let my fridge food become as spoiled as I am! LOL

carol segrave December 28, 2010 at 7:05 pm

Food Storage Suggestions—www.teraganix.com reusable food storage bags. Can extend shelf life of some fruits and vegetables by 2 weeks.
Just cleaned out my refrigerator. Thanks for the inspiration.
My freezer is empty except for ice cube trays and ice cream on occasion. I have decided as of this minute to be content with having it run less efficiently . Refuse to feel guilty about one more thing. That is my goal for 2011.
Keep on inspiring me in the New Year!

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