Officially another week completed of doing my absolute best to eat 100% organically! This week (like all the others) I oscillated from feeling as though this challenge was quite simple and easy to do, all the way to feeling like, “this is impossible, I don’t know why I’m doing this and how we are ever going to get all the toxic chemicals out of our food.” However, I am doing my best to focus more of my energy on resonating with the first thought process I mentioned, rather than the later.
I think my biggest realization this week was that there needs to be a willingness to change on both a consumer and systemic level. I was reminded again and again that we all need to be willing to do our part and inspire each other along the way. Doing this challenge, I am constantly reminded that some days this is going to feel way easier than others – but it’s all apart of the necessary actions we need to take to make our food system truly sustainable and give the earth the care it deserves.
- Monday night I went to a “Green New Deal” local community meeting where we discussed what direction we all want the climate movement to head, on both a local and a national level. I found it challenging to see that the food served at the meeting was sponsored by a large chain grocery store and consisted of things such as; inorganic and sugar laden baked goods and inorganic imported fruits like grapes and melons. Of course I was trying to be careful not to judge, however, I couldn’t help but thinking it was slightly ironic that we were at a meeting talking about how to save the earth and at the same time eating so many of the foods that are contributing to the earths demise. By this I am referring to foods that are GMO, pesticide laden, refined, contain trans fats, and imported from far away places without proper ethical standards). I was reminded that we all need to get way more serious about stopping this sort of mindless food consumption if we truly want to see a revolution for both human health and the planet.
- I was super stoked on the idea of having “Rice Paper Salad Wraps” (one of my favourite foods) for dinner on Tuesday night. I love loading them with soba noodles, cabbage, carrots, and cucumber and then dipping them in a creamy homemade peanut sauce. I had prepped all the ingredients and only as I was pulling out the rice paper rolls that I had in the cupboard did I realize that they were inorganic. A mini heart break for me – but I decided to wrap them in fresh garden lettuce and hardly noticed a difference. It just took a few minutes to get over the fact that I couldn’t have exactly what I wanted. I also was able to research a company, that sells organic rice paper rolls – which I will look out for the next time I am at Whole Foods or Nature Works.
- The regular cafe that I go to on Salt Spring for organic tea lattes that labels themselves as organic and usually serves organic almond milk randomly switched to inorganic. Another mini heart break – although I think this was just a temporary swap because they were out of their organic supply. I am optimistic to check back next week in hopes their organic supply has returned.
- I feel a lot of stress mentally when people offer me food during this challenge (especially for those who don’t know what I am up to). I hate to always have my default be “no thanks”, but it also doesn’t always feel so comfortable to ask, “is it organic?” However, it sure does make for a good conversation starter when I do ask. I am trying to push myself to do this more, even though it often feels more comfortable just to say no. I am reminding myself that one of the main reasons I wanted to do this challenge was to raise awareness about the harms of pesticides and inorganic farming – and so a conversation about this challenge to ask many people as possible is so important!
Things I Learned
- After attending the “Green New Deal” Meeting this week, I’ve been doing a lot of brainstorming as to what I think some of the answers to our climate crisis are (as it relates to food). Some things that I think are essential to implement moving forward are to; ban all pesticides and GMOs, shut down all feedlots and unethical animal farms, make “free range” animal products a requirement, provide subsidies for farmers to shift to regenerative agriculture, implement government incentives to encourage people to grow their own organic food, put compost programs in place for all municipalities, limit food imports and exports (what is more/less essential to bring in/out?), and start food education programs in all schools and work places. Now I just need to figure out where I want to start in helping these movements go forward.
- Not eating out as much isn’t SO bad! Although I do miss the whole experience of going to a restaurant at my convenience – I have come to find a lot of peace in choosing to only eat at places that are committed to the same food standards as I am. I now always feel like eating out is a true treat – it leaves me feeling rejuvenated and at peace knowing the food I am being served is toxin free and truly healthy. I also realize how much money I am saving by cooking so much at home!
- I had a rediscovery of my love for green lentils making them one of my new favourite proteins to incorporate into meals – they’re cheap, easy to cook, taste delicious, and so versatile. I made sweet potato green lentil tacos with chopped kale, cabbage, and sautéed onion this week – they were a 10/10 delicious!
- Growing food is a financial and nutritional life saver. I am benefiting immensely from the garden my boyfriend and I have. At this time of year, we have been enjoying our limitless supply of lettuce, kale, peas, and spinach. This week I made a delicious “Last of Spring Celebration Bowl” loaded with goodies from our garden and the farmers market (pictured beside).
- Focusing on eating seasonally and locally is also a life saver. There are so many ways we can find organic and seasonal foods that are way more nutrient dense, affordable, and fresh than imported ones. This means we are getting more “bang for our buck” in both the nutrition and cost departments. Some ways I try to focus on seasonal and local eating include; shopping at local farmers markets, going wild berry picking, getting involved in community gardens in return for fresh produce, and keeping my eye open for seasonal sales at grocery stores.
- Next week is my last official week of the challenge – crazy! I am going to take the time to brainstorm what I want to do going forward… I know I don’t want to go back to “letting go” about having some toxic chemicals being sprayed on my food. However, if I am being completely honest, making the commitment to 100% organic has taken a lot of work and planning. I am looking forward to thinking more about what I want to commit to as a long term plan for my diet and lifestyle.
- I am going to Victoria for a day so I’m already brainstorming what snacks to pack and researching which organic restaurants I might be able to seek out
- I plan to do tons of organic baking for a fun new little project I am working on. I’ll do my best to share some of recipes and my tips for organic baking on a budget while doing so. Pictured below are strawberry rhubarb oatmeal muffins – recipe will be posted soon!
- I have an exciting collaboration coming up with Whole Foods B.C. to help promote organic choices and celebrate the official end off my challenge. People will have a chance to win some super awesome stuff – stay tuned!