Here was the state of my pantry as of Monday. I agree, it IS quite frightening! I started with the top shelf, a huge black, plastic bag and just the intention of finding out what exactly I was consuming. First of all, I was amazed at the amount of stale and expired products up there. (Even with the extended shelf life engineered ingredients gives them, there were still expired products! Ew!) Once I started looking at what was in the "food" and chucking things out, it surprisingly got easier to throw things out as I went along. Could I have been eating all of these chemicals? Does everything contain corn syrup?
Here is the state of my pantry after the purge. It is still not yet organized, but as you can see, I didn't have to throw everything out. On the top shelf, I still have some whole grain cereals, dried fruit, powdered milk. On the second from the top are my baking supplies, flours, sugars, etc. On the second from the bottom, there is a bin of grains, the oils, and some more dried fruit, and on the bottom shelf, a bin of teas, coconut milk, tuna, a can of pumpkin and a bottle of lemon juice.
I was not able to part with ALL of the "fake foods" as I was pretty sure I wouldn't be able to. There were eight offenders I just couldn't part with...yet. They are:
Top shelf: Sprinkles, Bread crumbs and Bisquick
Sprinkles? You know, those things you shake on top of cookies to make them pretty? They contain corn syrup solids as well as a host of other engineered ingredients. I know that French pastries never have sprinkles on top, but I just couldn't get myself to throw these costly, and pretty, things.
Bread crumbs: I often make my own bread crumbs, but for those days when I just need to grab something quick, dried bread crumbs come in so handy. The container I have lists high fructose corn syrup as the second ingredient. I could easily rid myself of this product, but I think the fact that it was just purchased last week had me feeling a little guilty for wasting it. My plan for this product is just to finish it and then use the container to house my homemade bread crumbs.
Bisquick: First of all, I had no idea that Bisquick contained engineered ingredients. But a check of the ingredient label reveals partially hydrogenated soybean and/or cottonseed oil. I was unable to rid myself of the Bisquick yet because it used to be my go to helper in the kitchen for those pancakes and waffles my son loves so much. Although, I have to admit, ever since I started making sourdough pancakes and waffles with my sourdough starter, I haven't touched the Bisquick. I could easily rid my life of this product, but I think for sentimental purposes I couldn't throw it out yet, plus it is a brand new, Costco sized box.
Second shelf: Chocolate pudding mix
Chocolate pudding mix...I just couldn't do it.
Third shelf: Vegetable bouillon
The vegetable bouillon I have contains MSG, hydrogenated palm oil, as well as various other engineered ingredients further down the label. Again, I think I'm holding onto this for the convenience. I really don't use it that often, but when I want to throw together a quick soup and I'm out of stock, it comes in handy.
Bottom Shelf: Shoyu, Barbecue Sauce, Worcestershire Sauce
Shoyu: This is a flavorful soy sauce used a lot in the Hawaiian islands. It contains Caramel coloring and Sodium Benzoate. I couldn't get rid of this one because I wasn't quite sure what real food I could substitute it with.
Barbecue Sauce: Sadly, high fructose corn syrup is the first ingredient. It's a brand new bottle so I think that is why I couldn't rid myself of it.
Worcestershire Sauce: Again, this was a new bottle which is why I couldn't get rid of it, but it contains high fructose corn syrup as the third ingredient. Aside from being a new bottle though, this, like shoyu, is another product for which I'm not quite sure what real food it can be substituted for.
My homework this week:
1. See how easily I can cook using real food. (I'm actually not too worried about this)
2. Try to find alternative recipes or products for the fake foods I just couldn't get rid of
3. Read Step 2 and start practicing taking smaller bites and slowing down the pace of my eating.
Thank you so much for indulging this little departure for French Fridays. The French love to slow down and enjoy little things in life, which is why I felt it was important to slow down and really examine this week in food. Next week I will be discussing Step 2 from Dr. Clower's book The French Don't Diet Plan, please join me! Until next week lovely French people, a bientot!