Do you want to go organic but you don’t know where to start? Don’t panic — it’s just organic. You can live a healthy and sustainable lifestyle by starting with the basics of organic produce. Being organized is necessary to have a healthier home with nutritious food.
Start with a Healthy Pantry
You can live a healthier lifestyle by making a healthy pantry. Fill your home with nutritious pantry staples and you’re good to go.
Here are the ways to make a healthy pantry.
Focus on whole food. Go for real and whole ingredients or products that are in their most pure and basic form. With this, organic food can retain more goodness and nutrients compared to processed food and refined packaged goods.
Get rid of all the “nasties”. Clear out all the bad items that currently sit still in your pantry. This way, you can start out fresh. That means you have to let go of all the packaged refined goods and processed food containing thickeners, preservatives, firming agents, fillers, and food acids. It’s also time to throw away processed food high in sugar or sodium.
Create a shopping list. List down all the ingredients you will need to replace the products you threw out and replenish your pantry with better, healthier food options. Go for rice and whole grains, flours and meals, tins and sauces, baking ingredients, nuts and seeds, spices, dried herbs, natural sweeteners, oils and vinegars, and more.
Remember to do your research. It’s best to look up if you find something that you don’t quite understand. It’s possible to come across a product or ingredient that you find interesting that you have never used. Look it up and find out more information about it. Check what it is, what good it can be for you, and how useful will it be for your cooking.
Check the label and read thoroughly. Make sure that every product and ingredient you grab from the shelves or the boxes in the market is pure, highly nutritious, minimally processed, contains no GMOs, and sustainably sourced.
Buy in bulk. Look for your favorite staples and buy them in bulk. This will save you money in the long run. Stock up big on some of your favorite spices, legumes, grains, tinned goods, and baking ingredients. These should be products and ingredients that you regularly use and consume. This way, you’re sure they won’t go to waste or just rot while you wait.
Search for the “BPA-free” tinned food. Products like beans, coconut cream and milk, and tomatoes are the ones you should look out for. Make sure all of them have the assurance that they are free from BPA. It’s a toxic chemical that can filter into food from the lacquer lining of bottles, tins, or other contains made from plastic.
Store your food properly. Don’t be sloppy; prioritize the storing of your dry goods. Make sure to put them in airtight containers, away from direct sunlight. This will help in maintaining the shelf life of your goods and minimize the risk of spoilage. Bottles and glass jars are ideal reusable containers for organic food. But you can also use BPA-free plastic containers from a trusted retailer.
Organize your pantry and keep it that way. Again, don’t be sloppy. Make sure to divide your stored pantry ingredients into categories. Arrange them in a way that you will remember — and never forget — where you kept everything. Label everything you place inside containers. It can help to jot down the “Best before” date just so you can keep tabs on the shelf life of your goods.
Now that you’ve made yourself an organic pantry, it’s time to move on to the next step: going zero waste.
Getting Started in Reducing Waste
Reducing waste starts with you. If you’ve decided, then it’s time to learn the core purpose of this advocacy and lifestyle: saying no to single-use plastic. Here’s what it means to refuse single-use plastic:
REDUCE plastic use wherever you may be, as much as you can.
REFUSE single-use plastics at all costs. These include anything that escape as litter, such as straws, takeaway cups, shopping bags, balloons, and cutlery.
REUSE plastics or any product that you think is still usable.
RECYCLE any item that you have which can still be refilled or used multiple times, like shopping bags.
Here are several specific steps that you can use to change your lifestyle and reduce your waste.
- Bring your reusable shopping bags when you go shopping at the mall or at the grocery. You can also use a cardboard box.
- Opt for shops that have bulk food dispensers.
- Shop at your local farmers’ market.
- Say no to plastic straws or BYO reusable straws.
- Do not buy plastic bottled water.
- Always bring a tumbler or a cup with you.
- Always bring containers with you should you go to a restaurant for a takeout.
- Go for drinks in glass bottles, which you can reuse.
- Always bring a reusable lunch box to store food.
- Place food in jars and containers.
- Use beeswax food wraps.
- If you see a plastic bag drifting in the street, or any empty food wrappers, containers, straws, and other waste, dispose of them properly. Throw them in the trash, where they belong.
You have unlimited options once you choose to live out an organic lifestyle. Reducing waste definitely comes with such a lifestyle. There will always be biodegradable packaging options that you can go with once you start removing the nasties in your pantry.
In living out a zero-waste lifestyle, you can save money. Don’t contribute to the projected the tons of plastic that may outnumber the tons of fish in the oceans by 2050. Start supporting your local farmers and small-scale businesses that offer organic produce.
It’s not that hard to let go of the conventionally-grown food and the traditional “convenient” lifestyle that you have gotten used to for a long time. It’s time to let go and go organic.