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Foodie New Years Resolutions

by: Jill Richardson

Mon Dec 28, 2009 at 15:46:42 PM PST

Bookmark and Share posted 5 foods to avoid in 2010 and that got me thinking. What should my food-related New Years Resolutions be? And what are yours? (If you want some suggestions, I've got them below.)
Jill Richardson :: Foodie New Years Resolutions
My Resolutions:

1. Involve the kids in gardening. It's totally easier to get stuff done in the yard when the kids AREN'T around. Particularly the little one. Our older girl goes to school, Girl Scouts, piano lessons, and more, so while she's a good helper in the garden, she has no time. But I think it's more important to have the kids participate than it is to be productive (to a certain extent). There's a balancing act to be done there because I also want to actually grow food in the garden so the kids can pick it and taste it and observe how food grows. But I want them to be involved enough so they at least understand the process, that we DID SOMETHING (planted seeds, watered, weeded, composted) to make that food appear in our yard.

2. Involve the kids in cooking. Not just regular meals too, but also kitchen "experiments" like making sprouts, cheese, yogurt, sauerkrat, bread, etc.

3. Don't eat out when I've got food at home in the fridge. This costs money and wastes food, and usually it results in a less healthy meal. Yet I do it more often than I should.

4. Drink more tea. A ridiculous amount of cabinet space is taken up by various teas I've collected over the years, and I just got a new kettle for Christmas. Better use it!

5. Eat less added sugar. This could also be phrased as "eat less junk." I've got a sweet tooth, plain and simple. I think I eat more sugar than I'm supposed to. Well, we probably all do. But that doesn't make it right.

6. Pack food with me if I'm going somewhere that doesn't have healthy food. This always gets me. You end up somewhere, you're hungry, and the best thing you can find to eat is a pastry at Starbucks. I don't even LIKE the pastries at Starbucks... but I eat 'em.

7. Make the kids eat BEFORE they go somewhere with junk food. The "pack healthy food" idea totally dies when the kids come along. They don't want that boring old sandwich you brought for them. They want a "treat." Better to fill 'em up beforehand. (However, packing food is still a good contingency, so you have a good reason to say NO to McDonalds.)

8. Teach our older daughter a little bit about food. This is kind of tricky as I don't want to totally wreck her innocence. But she lives with us only half the time and she's old enough that she can speak up when she's not with us to say "That has HFCS and I don't want to eat it" or "Here's a type of tuna that has less mercury," etc. IF she's so inclined, that is. Thus far I haven't seen any evidence that she cares about that sort of thing, but she also doesn't know much about it.

What are your resolutions?

Here are some ideas:

  • Give up some of the worst seafoods (swordfish, bluefin tuna, shark, etc.)

  • Eat less meat. Define this however it works best for you, whether it's no meat for breakfast, meatless Mondays, one meat meal a week, vegan before 6pm, or even going vegetarian. Even one less meal of meat per week makes a difference.

  • NO MORE HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP. Now the science is REALLY in. It's bad stuff, plain and simple.

  • Skip on the sodas. They aren't good for you and they make you gain weight. If you have to have 'em (even once in a while as a treat) go for the ones with pure cane sugar instead of HFCS. (Even I can't resist a VERY occasional rootbeer float... it's like a once a year treat for me but oh I love them!)

  • Get to know a farmer. Visit their farm. Learn about what they care about. Are they seeing impacts of global warming? Are they frustrated with government policies? Do they have a hard time making a profit? And if they are profitable, how are they doing it?

  • Start a worm bin or a compost bin.

  • Get involved in local politics to change a law that makes no sense. For example, try to legalize backyard chickens. Or reform the local policy about community gardens.

  • Eat local, heritage breed meats for your big holiday meals in 2010. You might not be able to afford this on a regular basis, but for a holiday it might be worth the splurge.
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Number three on your list... (4.00 / 2) the one I really have to work on.

(He says, while getting ready to leave for the bank and stop for a beer and dinner on the way...)

It's not New Years' yet, right?


Another I need to do -

Eat more fruit.

I'm the polar opposite of you on sweet stuff, I don't like any of it.  

Good, in that I've never been a fan of candy or soda or cookies or pies, etc...

Bad, in that I also don't like much fruit, either.

And my third -

Start canning next summer.  I already refuse to eat out-of-season produce, and have for years, but next winter it would be nice if I could occasionally supplement my potatoes and cabbage with a little bit of self-preserved (or hell, maybe even grown if I move to another apartment!) Oregon Summer Bounty...

I really like your ideas for the girls (4.00 / 3)
Harold tells of the chores he had on the farm when he was a kid, and he did work for his teacher who had a farm also. Getting the kids involved in gardening is a great thing. Even if they don't grow up to be gardeners or want to work in ag, it still gives them skills and knowlege that will serve them in good stead in later years.

I also like that you want to get them involved in cooking and things like bread making, cheese making, etc. As much as I'd love to see things like that taught in school as well, it's really a family teaching thing. And cooking as well as bread making, cheese making, etc. are all live skills that I think everyone should know even if they don't use the skills. Ya never know when you might need them. If you have those types of life skills, you can be dead poor and still eat better than a lot of the rich people.

For my own goals for 2010, I won't eat less meat, we produce so much of it for ourselves. I've already quit buying meats from the grocery store, I only buy beef and pork from our local slaughter house, and with all the chicken and emu we have here now, I have a real hard time buying anything from them even. I get a fierce hankerin' for a roast chicken now and then, but I tell myself "Just wait, only a few more months till spring chick ordering time, and we have a local hatchery just a few miles from us, that produces broilers. Also, I'm going to be hatching my own hens' eggs this year too, and around half will be cockerels that I'll slaughter young enough to roast or pan fry. So I need to be patient and use up what's in the freezers.

I've been keeping us away from the HFCS pretty well. Especially since I've been making my own syrups from sugar.

My really big goal this year is to not let myself get burned out on growing. I have to remember to pace myself, and schedule work a lot better in 2010. Had I done that this year I'd have a lot more things to deliver to my shareholders as well as a bigger range of stuff put up in the freezer for our own use.

Normal people scare me. But not as much as I scare them.....

yeah I think you found the (4.00 / 2)
loophole about the meat. If you're producing it yourself, eat it :)

"I can understand someone from Iowa promoting corn and soy, but we are not feeding the world, we are feeding animals and soft drink companies." - Jim Goodman

[ Parent ]
#3? Really? NOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!! (4.00 / 2)
OK, OK, j/k. I actually don't go out all that often any more. It does cost SO MUCH MONEY (especially here in Sin City!), and you're right that this can be awfully wasteful when I have a full fridge at home.

It's just that it's so tempting when there are so many great options so close to me. But yes, I don't go out that often any more. And when I do, I try to visit as many locavore & organic places as possible.

Act on Principles and make equality happen.

Tell me about it... (4.00 / 2)
It's just that it's so tempting when there are so many great options so close to me.

I'm pretty sure Portland has even more great restaurants (and food carts!) than it has people!

[ Parent ]
Yeah, tell me about it! (4.00 / 2)
I live just 7 miles from Mandalay Bay (the start of The Strip), and lately there have been more and more good restaurants opening here in Henderson. Settebello may be the best pizzeria this side of the Mediterranean and Marinelli's serves the best gnocchi off The Strip, so it's hard to keep me away from my fave foodie hangouts for very long. :-p

Act on Principles and make equality happen.

[ Parent ]
well if you've got the cash for it (4.00 / 3)
then why not. In my case there's kind of no excuses because a) I'm broke and b) my boyfriend is a chef. So there is ALWAYS something good to eat at home and 90% of the time, I don't have to cook. Tonight I cooked for a change, if you call what I did cooking. Rice in the rice cooker, plus roasted squash and potatoes. I also reheated leftover soup for the bf, and then made some brownies and kinda gorged on those until I could eat no more.

"I can understand someone from Iowa promoting corn and soy, but we are not feeding the world, we are feeding animals and soft drink companies." - Jim Goodman

[ Parent ]
I forgot to mention... (4.00 / 1)
we need a pic of the brownie menorah!

[ Parent ]
I'm with Jill on this one! (4.00 / 3)
In my opinion, there's nothing wrong with eating out, especially if you have the money and like the restaurants. Eating out supports those businesses, which is particularly good if they're local businesses, it also supports the chefs/cooks, wait staff, farms and distrbutors supplying those restaurants.

Now, if you have a frige full of food and regualarly eat out, then throw the food away, that'd be a bad thing. But if you're making enough money to be able to eat out at your favorite restaurants on a regular basis, then as the Ausies say - Good on ya mate!

Me, I'm in the same boat as Jill sans chef. Totally broke but surrounded by some of the highest quality food on the planet. I got no business eating out, at least not more than once or twice a month (and that's only because Harold gets a hankerin' for the Markum Inn).

Normal people scare me. But not as much as I scare them.....

[ Parent ]
And let's face it... (4.00 / 1)
sometimes being waited on is nice.

[ Parent ]
gnocchi (4.00 / 1)
Marinelli's does the same thing Baltimore restaurants do - gnocchi is an entree, but it isn't available as a side dish for other entrees. I don't agree with this concept, and I don't understand it (not understanding probably goes with not agreeing.) I would love gnocchi as a side dish, but darned if I want a whole plateful.

Best online menu concept ever. Click the link just for the fun of turning the pages.  

[ Parent ]
I love gnocchi (4.00 / 2)
and I agree, it's good as a side, but I don't think I could eat a whole plate full either. Like eating a plate full of potatoes with sauce on them.

My dad has his mom's recipe for gnocchi. He said she always used either ground chicken or ground veal (those were the animals they had when he was a kid) instead of beef. When he was growing up as a kid there were always young cockerels that his mom butchered for roasting and frying, and the old spent hens for stewing and grinding. Then there was the calf each year from the milk cow.

Spaghetti sauce made from good ground chicken is completely different that that made from veal, beef or other red meat. I especially like if over ravioli. Dad's family was from northern Italy, almost to Austria.

Normal people scare me. But not as much as I scare them.....

[ Parent ]
If I lived in Portland (4.00 / 1)
I might spend a large fraction of my food money at food carts. You have made me envious about the variety and quality of a part of life that just does not exist here.

[ Parent ]
Eat out less (4.00 / 4)
I need to work out on this. Usually it comes down to lack of planning, so I guess the real resolution is to be more diligent about meal planning.

awesome (4.00 / 4)
this seems to be a good list of resolutions, also agree with your number one resolution and I know that it would definitely hard for you to avoid this...

eat less meat.... (4.00 / 2)
another possible strategy for this is to adopt the diabetic diet recommendation of red meat (beef, pork) twice a week or less often.  chicken and fish for the rest.  this is one we came across when my husband tipped over into Type 2 last year.

Waste less food. (4.00 / 1)
I don't waste a lot of food, but I still waste too much. Sometimes I buy more than I should, sometimes I just forget something is in the crisper tray...

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