Monday, March 15, 2010

One Small Change for March - Food Choices

Did I say I would get this post done this weekend? Hmmm, that was silly of me. The weekend seemed to have other plans, very nice ones, not involving the computer, (except for just a bit of vintage fabric browsing, and a bit of homeschool lesson planning)...

So our March small change is not really small at all for us, as you may have realized by now we put a lot of though into our food choices, we always have, and now some big changes are happening. I do realize there may be other families whose goal is to move to closer to a vegan diet, and here we are doing the opposite. Kinda funny. Food choices are so personal, I am certainly not saying that what we do is best, I do wish for everyone to have good healthy food from this earth to feed their bodies, we are trying to do what we believe is best for our own family. (My post here last week explains a bit of where we are at now, and this one here really starts at the beginning.) You may also have realized by now that I tend to ramble on and on about this, (can you just imagine the conversations we have here at home, or the thoughts swirling around in our heads), so now I am going to try to be somewhat brief...

What we are no longer purchasing...

Margarine! You know, the earth balance stuff that is supposedly good for you because it is non-hydrogenated, etc... long before I became concerned with our consumption of various vegetable oils I was greatly distressed by the plastic tubs it came in. This was the first thing to go from our refrigerator. I could not bring myself to buy another tub of it at the store! So we bought organic butter instead. Of course it still comes wrapped in paper and in a box, still too much waste in my opinion, but until we can be making our own someday, this is what we will have to do.

Soymilk. Whatever size carton it comes in it is still totally un-recyclable. Again, I could not bring myself to purchase another box. So for now we are buying organic, whole, unhomogenized milk in glass bottles. We trade in the used bottles when we buy more. I am in the process of looking into raw milk sources in our area, fortunately there are some...

Soy yogurt. Not something that we bought regularly anyway, but a good example... there are at least 10 to 15 ingredients in plain soy yogurt! Or we could eat yogurt that is only one ingredient. This we will definitely be making for ourselves soon!

Speaking of dairy, I am going to help Sara with goat chores on the farm this season. After babies are born and mamas are ready I will be helping with the milking and everything! We hope to learn a lot over on the farm this year!

More things we aren't buying...
Vegan mayonnaise (yes, veganaise tastes really good, oh well...)
Vegan cheese. We didn't buy this much either. (Neither the cheese nor the mayonnaise have been replaced with the real versions. I'm sure we will never buy mayonnaise in a jar. Not too sure about the packaged cheeses either.)
Canola oil. I have been buying only olive oil and butter. Sometimes I am using palm shortening for baking. Good cause it is organic, non-hydrogenated, etc... very bad cause still in big yuck plastic tub. Need to stop using it, but if I baked with only butter right now it would be way too strong for us, we are still adjusting to these new tastes.

Things we are still buying but cutting down on...
Tofu and tempeh are the big ones here. We especially like tempeh, and need to keep in the good protein sources, though of course we eat a whole lot of beans too!

I suppose eggs would be a good substitute for the tofu. We are working our way towards eating them, but some of these changes are happening slower that others. We want to eat them, but wow, this is all pretty crazy for us, it's like we aren't sure how to go about it... I have found a local source for free range, organic, soy-free eggs though. Yay.

We are still doing well with our original small change, food packaging. Haven't even bought a box of crackers in several months. Though still haven't made our own either. Crackers and tortillas are on my list of things to make soon.

We are comfortable with our decision to no longer be vegan, and we are making steps towards what is an ideal diet for our family. We would prefer to be eating eggs from our own chickens, to be milking our own goats, but for now we are making the best choices we feel that we can. We could not wait to make these changes, so this is were we are starting.

One of the craziest things about this all though... I became vegan when I was barely 20, anything I can remember ever cooking has been vegan... I sure learned how to be a good vegan baker... now I feel like I am learning to cook all over again! Fun. I am up for the challenge!

16 comments:

Hip Mountain Mama said...

Way to go Mama...it is such a journey and making the best choices you can at the time is all we can do!!
Thanks for being a part of the challenge!!
Suzy

P.S. if you want to write for our One Small Change blog, I would love to have you..you can email me for details suzy@hipmountainmama.com.

Carrie said...

Why not try hemp milk,it is far superior to soymilk for protein(for health and environment). As far as giving up canola oil,try coconut oil,it is even healthier than olive oil.For Easter,I buy eggs from a no-kill(they don't even kill the boy chicks)local farm,and that is hard to get used to! Good luck with your changes!

6512 and growing said...

Wow, those are some intense changes. How does it all taste? How does your body feel?

My husband hunts, and we have chickens and a source for local raw milk and butter; we really enjoy all of those animal products.

I'd love to offer you some of our sweet eggs for your first taste. Feel free to e-mail me Renee.

Take care,
Rachel

nicola@which name? said...

renee, thank you for your comment on your blog i so completely agree. like parenting choices, food choices are personal. we aren't moving towards vegan (not yet at least), but we definitely were eating too much dairy, and as vegetarians, i want more balance to my diet!
fabulous and thoughtful post!
nicola
Which Name?

Naturalearthfarm said...

I also was going to comment on your words about food choices being personal. When we needed to spend the winter with my aunt and uncle a few years ago, food was the hardest part. They just ate so unhealthy. I made much of our own food, but they wanted to share making supper.
Thank you for such a thoughtful post. I just love life because it is such a journey!
Warm wishes, Tonya

earthycrunchy said...

I agree that food choices are very personal. We all just try to do the best we can and we're all on a journey. Every day, I work towards a more balanced and healthy diet. I eat really well already...whole foods and some organic meats. But I do feel guilty not eating vegetarian. I realize that I'm doing what I can. There's always room to tweak it a bit, move in a different direction. But, Renee, doesn't butter taste so good?! Great post. xo Kyndale

Sara said...

Wow, that's a huge change. How are your bodies adapting to it? And how are your children feeling about the change? It has to be huge for them.

Melanie said...

This really is a huge change- there have been times when we have made major changes in our own family, and there is an adjustment period of time, and then it is such a normal part of our lives that we forget what the "old way" was even like.
Good luck, Renee!

leaningapplemama said...

your changes are huge! i am so interested to learn more about how it is working for you. before i began eating meat again i ate such bad vegetarian choices. all that processed food and what not...yikes. it is much less packaging and ingredients to eat natural whole foods, whether they are dairy or grains or fruits...why can't it always be so clear?!

Hip Mountain Mama said...

Hey mama! I hope your change is going great so far!

Make sure to stop by the blog to enter into our latest giveaway and see what the community is up to!
http://1smallchangeblog.blogspot.com/2010/03/giveaway-reusable-produce-bags.html

4 BOYS ONLY said...

WOW! This has been so great for me to see. I am struggling with all of these exact same things. We are currently going through 8, 1/2 gallons of soy milk,6 quarts of soy yogurt and two tubs of earth balance a week. YIKES! we really do eat mostly beans and grains etc, but local and natural vs, shipped and processed? I just don't know! I have been lucky enough to find takers for the containers, but the milk cartons....ugh. my family, mostly my two oldest, 15 + 12 are just not hearing it They don't want to touch a single animal product EVER! i'm proud of them, and frustrated. seems I may have brought this on myself? My husband is just still very unsure of details. What happens to the animals, how are they treated, etc. We have tons of amazing local farms with raw milk, butter, eggs everything! I too could write a novel in your comments. When things settle down a bit maybe we can email more on this. We are buying our first house and moving, so its a bit crazy here just now. do tell us more though! curious how it tasted? and how you have felt physically.

dkjsv05 said...

I was raised vegetarian and as soon as I moved away from home I went to work for a small mom and pop grocery store where they sold everything from local farmers. I learned so much working there and made some really good friends. I wanted to second organic coconut oil. It comes in a glass jar though not local. Good luck to you and your family on your journey.

*erin* said...

I do love veganaise! I have made yummy raw almond mayo that last about 2 weeks, if your interested in the recipe let me know:) Sounds like some great changes, I am looking forward to getting chickens in a couple weeks! Yay!

faith said...

I third coconut oil. We buy in bulk so to keep costs down. It is fabulous for skin moisturizer also. No more plastic containers with moisturizer..another plus.
Check out my blog and click on chickens on the side bar...the rewards are numerous in raising your own flock. Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens is a must. Your kids will love them but so may the fox??!?
Good Luck~

molly said...

Renee,
What a strong and lovely family. I love all of your post. I find you so humble and full of experience. I have so much to learn, thank you for the inspiration.

Crooked Moon Mama said...

Love the honesty and thoughtfulness in this post!!
Earth Balance is WAY worse than organic local butter. So many vegand get caught up in the "animal" issue that they forget the health and environmental issues at hand.
xoxox