Do you realize that most of the foods you eat come from a box, bag, can, or some kind of container?
Shocked? You probably didn’t realize how few fresh foods you eat and how little attention you pay to the freshness of the foods you buy.
A recent British Medical Journal study showed that the synthetic chemicals used in food processing and packaging can leak into food. This can lead to low-level ingestion of the chemical substances over a lifetime and may have harmful effects on your health. Additionally, most packaged foods are high in salt and fat and therefore can add to your health problems.
Shifting to Fresh Foods: Not Easy
But even with such findings, it’s not practical to get rid of packaged foods completely. You still see them in most groceries and supermarkets. And that’s because a lot of people are still buying them. Just like banning the use of plastics has not been successful in all places as there are plastics machinery and bag machine parts still available in the market, shifting from packaged foods to downright fresh foods may take more than a little effort and getting used to.
Fresh Food Strategies
Fortunately, there are ways to cut back on your consumption of packaged foods so that you can reduce your risks and protect your health. You may want to try these 5 fresh food strategies.
1. Try the Farmer’s Market
Instead of sticking to your favorite supermarket, try going to one of these farmer’s market where you can scoop up fresh vegetables and fruits. If you can’t resist using plastic bags, make sure you are using recyclable plastics and not the single-use kind. Choose the fresh produce that lasts longer and won’t take much preparation time. Get broccoli, asparagus spears, string beans. Potatoes, unripe tomatoes, or baby Brussels sprouts.
When you go grocery shopping, buy your healthy staples in bulk. You can buy oats, nuts, beans, dried fruit, lentils and others in bulk. When you get home, you can transfer and store them in sealed glass containers. This way, you reduce the foods’ contact with the packaging materials.
3. Filter Your Tap Water
Invest in a home version of a water filter or filtering pitcher. If you need to bring water wherever you are going, you can use a stainless steel water bottle instead of plastic water bottles. Not only do you save the environment, but you also save on the cost of buying bottled water every time.
4. Grow Your Own Herb Garden
If you don’t have an area to plant your herbs, try growing them in pots. Grow potted herbs such as basil, rosemary, mint, cilantro, thyme or dill. This will cut your consumption of artificial flavorings and spices. And you can just snip off the herbs you need any time.
You buy packaged foods because they are your favorites and because they are easy to prepare and cook. So, why don’t you make these foods yourself? Here’s an example: instead of buying frozen pizza, you can learn how to make dough or crust using your whole grain flour. Then you can add in your fresh toppings.
So, are you ready to shift to fresher foods?