One day this week the local weather predicted gusting winds and rain, with snow in a nearby vicinity.
Around 1:00 pm not only did we get rain and wind, but also hail, thunder, and lighting.
It was the snuggle up with a good book type of weather. The howling wind made me think of the times of Laura Ingalls Wilder living in the Big Woods of Wisconsin. I thought about their root cellars for their food storage. What were they storing? Whatever they grew, picked, jarred, milled, or dried themselves was what was found there. The food wasn’t boxed or bagged. The items were not comprised of multiple unpronounceable ingredients.
As a contrast to the Ingalls family, people of our era get their food mainly from a store and then keep the items in pantries, cabinets, refrigerators and freezers.
I watch people at the grocery store. Yes, I admit I am a people watcher. I watch them fill their carts. I observe their choices at the check out line. For the most part, I am horrified. For those filling their carts with basics, I silently applaud them. However, I more commonly see carts being filled with mainly processed foods laden with chemicals, additives, preservatives, artificial colors, and sugar.
Consumerism, marketing, and lack of health education has lured people to think that packaged and processed products are food and even healthy! Wake up!!! This isn’t food! It’s poison! Tasty, yes, but chemical in composition. The chemicals are addictive. AVOID these products!!! I have one child who is so sensitive to chemicals in food that I will know within an hour by the Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde behavior that he’s eaten something he should probably avoid.
With the health concerns aside, now comes the clutter issue. The consumers shop in such large quantities (“Hey–isn’t bulk better for my budget?!” they think), their counters, shelves, and closets become filled and even over-filled. “I have no cabinet space!” they whine. “I have nowhere to put anything.” Oy! I need to go grab an apple and some techina dip to calm down…
So, here are the Klutter Koach’s Pearls of Wisdom for stocking your pantry as well as unsolicited healthy eating advice:
- Don’t overstock too much of the same item. Consider how often you shop: weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, etc. If you shop once a week and use two bags of flour/ week, you don’t need 10 in your pantry. Three would be sufficient.
- Keep baking staples as well as grains, beans, and pasta. You can do so much with these single ingredient items. Once again, you don’t need multiples of the same thing. A spare item is acceptable if you use the item often and think you will run out before your next shopping trip.
- If you are constantly complaining you need a bigger pantry, then perhaps the problem is not the size of the pantry, but the quantity of items you are trying to stuff into it.
With all that said, I am nostalgic for the idea root cellar because of the simplicity and wholesomeness of the food from days long ago. I am grateful I don’t have to grow anything myself. I feel blessed I there are stores. I am lucky to have food choices and try make healthy ones. I work with the space in my kitchen so that everything fits without being crammed or cluttered.
It’s food for thought.
Thanks for reading
The Klutter Koach
Updated December 11, 2017