Pass On the Package

This Earth Day and beyond do your planet and your body a big favor and pass on packaged foods.

Packaging is out of control you get little wrappers inside of a big bag.  Even if you recycle what you can, you will still end up trashing the cling wrap and wrappers of most packaged foods, they aren’t recyclable.  Recycling takes energy, which is why it’s the last of the ‘Rs’ (reduce, reuse, recycle).  Plastics are finding their way into our oceans, there is a big mass of it in the Pacific Ocean.  They are leaching into water supplies.  For more on the impact of food packaging on our environment read this article.

Let’s face it, the better food is for you, the less packaging it typically has.  Apples, carrots, and beets come naked in the produce section…or at most wearing a twist tie that you might actually reuse.  It’s the bad stuff that comes with several layers of packaging like that package of mini snickers bars, a big bag with a bunch of tiny wrappers inside.  Stick with mostly those naked, or minimally packaged foods in the produce section, the bulk bins of whole grains, minimally processed dairy, fresh meats and fish.  Avoid the processed foods like candy, cereals, soups, chips, crackers, box macaroni & cheese.  All of this stuff comes not with just excess packaging but a lot of other baggage such as added salt, sugar, preservatives, and chemicals.  Also, GMO foods won’t sell well in a produce section, so they are sold to the companies that make processed foods; avoid this controversial ingredient by buying fresh and making your own at home.

How to get out of the package for healthy options:

  • buy the big, plain yogurt:  divide it into your own containers and add your own fresh fruit and honey/maple syrup if you like
  • Avoid pre-sliced and packaged produce:  buy the bulk veggies and fruit and cut when you need it, it doesn’t take that much time
  • Cheese is a nice treat once in a while:  buy the block and slice or grate as needed.  This will make you eat those saturated fat calories less because you can’t mindlessly grab a quick pre-cut slice, cube, or stick from the fridge.
  • Bulk grains and beans are just as good as the ones in bags, and you typically have a bigger selection.
  • Take your own snacks:  buying a single serving size typically means buying lots of extra packaging too.
  • Make your own bread.  It isn’t as time-consuming as you think…especially if you get a bread machine.

Following the minimal packaging lifestyle might take some getting used to, but eventually you’ll notice a difference in your health and likely your bank account too.  And you will be making an effort to making our planet a healthier place to live too.

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