Saturday, July 17, 2010

Simple ways to reduce in the kitchen

Any of my regular readers know, I'm not a fancy gourmet cook.  I use ingredients that are available to me, and that I believe are typical in the American cabinet.  In the last year though, I've made the decision to do most of the food processing in my own home.  Earlier this week, I posted about making jam in the kitchen.  It is a long process, and it took me most of the morning that day.  In the end though, doing the processing myself I've taken a step to reduce.

For conventional jams and jellies, fruit is picked at the farm (wherever that farm may be), and it is shipped to a plant for processing.  Smucker's for example is a very popular jelly, and I can only assume they get most of their fruit from California (they aren't very transparent as to where things come from, eeek!).  Then it is likely shipped to their plant in either Ohio, or Kentucky, and then it is shipped to you.  How much gas and resources is wasted just to have your jelly go all over the country?!

On top of that, the average jelly has high fructose corn syrup, and other preservatives that are unnatural and difficult to pronounce.  I know what's in mine, and I know there are no bugs, chinese abscorbic acid or any other nasties in it either.

Another thing I've recently cut out is ziplock bags.  I marinated some chicken the other day (local I might add!) and I mixed the marinade in a measuring cup, laid the chicken in the bowl, and poured the marinade over it.  I covered it with recycled foil, and stuck it in the fridge.  I don't need a petroleum laced plastic bag, and it's one less thing that will end up in a land fill.  Also, my chicken still has the bone in it.  I rarely buy boneless anymore, it reduces the cost, it reduces the processing, and it reduces the waste.  Freeze the bones to make chicken broth at a later time and you've just saved more money.  Who needs MSG/sodium laced bouillon cubes when you've got flavorful homemade broth?

It is simple to do your part to help the environment in the kitchen.  When done right, you'll save yourself money too.  Have a great Saturday. :)


  1. wonderful post!!! we're big on preserves here...planning on some serious pickle making tomorrow!!!
    :) maureen

  2. I love home made pickles! Mine always come out so spicy. :)



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