Thursday, September 29, 2011

My hatred of food packaging vs. my current reality

In the past two weeks my life has been so busy that I never know what day it is. My life has turned into endless "to do" lists that seem to never end. With a challenging course load, a time consuming position on the school newspaper, and trying to make time to spend with friends, roommate, and at the gym, the time I have to feed myself is limited.

Over the summer I had all of these grand ideas that I was going to cook all of my own food. Now I can't help but laugh at the naivety of my summer self. I don't know how I ever thought I would have time to do everything. 

I am one of those people that knows what they believe in and rarely change their mind, but unfortunately I have had to question my idealistic approach to daily meals. It is nearly impossible for me to find time to cook a few days a week, let alone every day. I have finally come to terms with the fact that things won't be the exact way that I would like them to be, and instead accept that I may have to compromise. 

I hate food packaging with a fiery passion, but at this point (especially today where I am running off very little sleep after a late night at the paper) I have come to terms with the fact that I will have to eat some food that comes in packaging I despise — if I don't I will either starve or never sleep, and neither is a valid option. Instead, I have made a new game plan:

1. Buy as many fresh fruits and vegetables as possible to eat during the week. I will also wash and prepare them as soon as I get home. I find that if I make my salad and cut up my veggies for the week I am much more likely to eat them (mostly because I can just open the fridge and start eating). 

2. Buy packaged foods based on the degrees of food packaging. I still cannot allow myself to buy frozen foods in hard plastic containers, but the paper containers hurt a little less. As much as I hate all plastic, I have also had to compromise a bit and buy a few things that come in plastic bags. 

3. Be sure that the ingredients inside of the packaging are what I support — organic and as local as possible.

Even though buying packed food hurts every time I put it in my basket, I had to compromise a bit to make my entire lifestyle work. Perhaps when I have a real job and I am not spending all of my waking hours working or studying I can meet my goal of cooking all of my own food. Until then, I have to find a way to make a poor situation into something positive as possible. 

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