Tuesday, March 7, 2017
Incorprarting the Five a Day Minimum
Sunday night I served both a green salad and mixed vegetables for supper. Earlier in the day, we munched on popcorn and golden delicious apple slices. Three of my minimum five a day with one meal and a snack. I was feeling good about my role as mom, as homemaker. Roll forward to Monday when DD2 ate frozen waffles, cut in sticks for dipping in syrup. I ate the last one in the box, smeared with cream cheese, washed down with coffee-lots of coffee. I left (forgot) my lunch at home so ended up eating a reserve can of chunky chicken and dumpling. Sort of included one serving of veg, but a stretch. While I pushed the veggies on DD2, a few leftover from Sunday night, plus she ate an apple while doing her homework, I might have got a grand total of two complete servings. We like vegetables in our family. We really like fruit in our house. Why then is the struggle real to get these servings into our meals on so many days?
Of all the food waste, my biggest victim is fruit and vegetables. I find bits left in a bowl, shoved to the back of the fridge. Odd carrots, salad fixings, and apples stuck in the back of the crisper is a typical find when cleaning out the refrigerator. I've come to the realization, bulk, at least bulk for my family, is a contributing factor. I know two for one greens is a good deal, and would be, if we ate them right away, but letting one get slimy before eating is anything but thrifty. Big bags of fruit are cheaper per pound than individually selected apples, pears, or oranges. None though are good deals if part end up binned.
March is a good month to become aware of my food waste again and look at changing some of the habits. I live the opposite of in a food desert, within walking distance of a grocery store. I pass another minimum of six grocers on route to and from work, literally not having to go out of my way at all, if I chose to stop. Getting a ready supply of fresh fruit and vegetables is easier for my family than most. As part of my life list, increasing the servings of fruit and veg while decreasing the waste is a two for one goal. I might seeing a little blip in cost increase, but the exchange will be fresher, more delicious meals. If I balance with less food waste, I may even see a neutral impact. Who else struggles with either the five a day, or wasting fruit and vegetables? What's your plan for shopping for fresh produce?