Food Excitement

Today, I began preparing for all the organic food I ordered.  Over the past year, I have really been pondering what it means when we ask ourselves, is this food that my grandmother or great-grandmother would have recognized as food?  I have a great deal I want to share with all of you about my food journey and what I have learned about the food delivered to us by the industrial food chain. If I go through it all here in my first post, we would all fall fast asleep.  So for today, I focus on one piece. MONEY!

This has been a huge problem for us at the grocery store. Since we have food allergies, we have to buy specialty flours and specialty milks, special snacks, etc. which all cost 3 to 5 times as much as the typical stuff.  Then, on top of that I want us to buy only organic food?  We seriously spend a ridiculous amount of money on food.  For a long time, I thought we were trapped with our food bill. We fork over the “whole paycheck” to Whole Foods, end of story. But it turns out there are a lot more options than I realized, and I decided 2012 would be the year I attempt to get our grocery bill under control AND try to nourish our family with more nutrient dense foods. (When, I mentioned to our 9 year old that we would be eating healthier, she lamented with full-on melodrama, that we are already the healthiest family in the whole school. She claims no one in her class recognizes the food in her lunch.)

Anyway, to minimize throwing the whole book at you so to speak, this post is about ordering from Azure Standard.  They offer oodles of organic and natural food options. I figured out last year that buying dried beans was a cheaper than buying canned organic beans, and a necessity if one wants to avoid BPA since it is found in the lining of nearly all canned goods – including organic.  At Azure Standard, I can order organic beans in bulk, and since they last a very long time, this is the way to go. I’ve also ordered a ton (well, not literally) of frozen organic fruit.  The fresh organic fruit, especially berries, is so expensive, but ordered in bulk, the frozen fruit is more affordable. This stuff will work great in pies, muffins, smoothies, nearly everything I want to use fruit in.  The key to keeping these costs so low is the food is delivered by a semi truck on a specific route. You need to get a drop number when you place your order, and then go to that drop point to pick up your food order.  Really, it feels kind of exciting. There is a truck route through Phoenix here, but when I realized that I would not be available during the week of delivery, I began to think outside the box. (Honestly, I am not very good at thinking “inside the box” – I can be a bit unique. My poor kids probably never had a chance of being “normal”. Good thing though, since I love them just the way they are.) So I discovered that there is a truck route through Casa Grande earlier in the month. Hurray! I’m not so far from there anyway.

Now, I must prepare for all my goodies.  Since I have numerous bags and boxes of frozen fruit arriving mid-week, I cleaned out and defrosted my freezer – always a fun task.  In addition, my crazy self decided my pantry needed a complete overhaul to prepare for my new dried goods. (What, am I nesting here? Am I so excited for my bargain organic food treasures, I need to clean the pantry for them? Yes!)  And in true “If You Give a Mouse a Muffin” style, partway through this overhaul, I decided I should really remove the torn contact paper from the bottom shelf and repaper it with new contact paper.

For dried beans, people! Someone help me.

Fortunately for me, at this point, my 9 year old wandered in and decided contact paper was fascinating and she volunteered to assist me.

So with this, I leave you to ponder, “What happens next?” Because I am tired, and 80 percent of the contents of my pantry is currently on my kitchen island.

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