using up and not buying more...

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Deb&Al, Mar 8, 2005.

  1. Deb&Al

    Deb&Al Well-Known Member

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    there's a similar thread here about having a chemical free kitchen. I have been working on that concept for a few years. regarding the food purity situation, i have supplies that would enable me to not have to buy a particular item for several months, if not a year in some instances.

    for instance, after christmas when all the baking stuff that crowds the grocery aisles is sometimes on sale, i will purchase for stocking up. for example, i have three, 16-oz packages of hershey's chocolate chips in the freezer. i haven't bought any since after thanksgiving.

    well, i looked at the label and saw that it's made with vanillin, not vanilla. there has been talk on this board and a couple of whole food cookery sites i visit where there's been talk of companies moving to cheaper ingredients to make better profits, etc.

    i really try to subscribe to a whole foods approach to cooking, but i find that as time goes on, my range of products becomes smaller and smaller. we pretty much have the vegetables/fruit/meat thing handled pretty well at our house, as we grow/raise and trade/purchase these things ourselves.

    but, there are some items, like chocolate chips, that i can see myself not having access to, because of personal preference.

    the other thing i've given up is jello brand jello. i have a book about additives in foods, and you can look up anything on a label and see what it is and if it has been banned in other countries, etc, and except for visual/eye appeal, why do we have to have colors added to our food, when our bodies weren't made to digest/dispose of these kinds of chemicals? (i know, that's a rhetorical question. :) )

    yesterday at work, there was a birthday cake for someone and it had the really, really, really blue and purple and red icing. i don't eat that stuff anymore, but one of my coworkers loves the icing especially and she thought it was funny that her tongue was the most interesting shade of electric blue, from lunchtime, to when we were leaving at 4:30!!!!! she kept sticking out her tongue showing people, saying she was starting a new trend, colored tongues.

    i said, well, if that's what your tongue looks like, what do you imagine that your stomach and intestines look like? everyone groaned, and someone said "you're not fun". but seriously, we do get along at work, even if i have my own personal doubts about some of these people. ;)

    i know that there are lots of good threads here on things like having a chemical free kitchen, and raising organic vegetables and meat, and all that. it's kind of like a 12-step process of detaching from the "system" of mass marketing, profit hungering corporations who really do not have our health interests at heart; but sometimes it's not so cut and dry and there comes a time when you are not just "playing" at being organic/chemical free, but your choices leave you feeling minimized.

    well, i'm going back to the kitchen to make my chocolate chip cookies with my hershey's chips made with chemicals. i really like chocolate, or i wouldn't make them. there are only two more packages in the freezer.

    i feel like i'm in that scene from Gone with the wind where aunt pittypat is having a dinner and they've just killed their last chicken and they are opening the last bottle of wine, and aunt pittypat says something to the effect of: "please do enjoy it, because it is the last, you know."

    does anyone ever feel like this?

    debbie
     
  2. miclew

    miclew Well-Known Member

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    We are a chemical free family but it took us a long time to get here. I would say it is impossible to do it all at once because it takes time to learn everything there is to learn.

    By the way, there are chocolate chips out there that are made with vanilla and not vanillin. Giradella (sp?) is a name brand that is a good one (although we don't eat even that because of the refined sugar but it still is acceptable).

    One of our biggest accomplishments was our Square Foot Garden. This is probably the easiest way to do organic farming and you get a much larger yield from a smaller space. We have enjoyed trying all kinds of interesting vegetables that we had never even heard of before :) We also have fruit trees and wild fruit on our property.

    I would never go back to eating flourescent blue icing.

    michele
     

  3. Barb

    Barb Well-Known Member

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    Why are you keeping chocolate chips in the freezer?
     
  4. shelljo

    shelljo Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I don't know about the OP, but I keep mine there because then I can't hear their little voices calling "eat me, eat me." :haha:

    Sorry, might be a serious question. I do keep mine in the freezer, but don't really know why...
     
  5. hunter gatherer

    hunter gatherer Well-Known Member

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    Debbie,
    To give you one more thing to worry about: if you are really concerned about chemicals in your food, you should seriously consider using only foods that have been organically produced. I know the choclate chip company is required to list the ingredients in their product and so it gives you something to think about when you read vanillin ( nasty stuff ) instead of vanilla. But what would really be alarming is if you knew what chemicals were involved to grow that cocoa. Or the sugar.Those are the chemicals that the company is not required to list and the ones that you should probably be most concerned about.

    Miclew is right there are many alternatives out there. Almost any healthy food store carries organic( and naturally flavored) chocolate chips, sugar, and vanilla. These items can be very expensive if you are buying them individually from a natural foods retailer. I purchase things like this directly through the distributor by way of a buying club. The same truck that delivers to our local health food cooperative , swings by my house on it's way out of town and drops off our group's monthly order. I am able to afford things like organic chocolate chips if I have purchased them in bulk at the wholesale price. Frontier Natural Products is another great source for organic bulk foods. They are a mail order company. For a one time fee of $10.00 you can receive and order through their wholesale catalog. Frontier is nice because you do not have to commit to a monthly order. You can just order any time you like.

    Hain foods makes a natural " jello" that I sometimes make for my children as a treat. It goes by the name of Super Fruits.

    I am always heartened to hear about folks who are shifting their way of thinking concerning chemicals in our food. The grocery store bargains are rarely bargains if one stops to really consider the impact these foods ( or should I say non-foods) have on our health and the health of our planet.

    I am trying to shift our diet to not only organic but locally produced. This is easy to do when it comes to meat, dairy and vegetables. Fruits are more of a challenge and of course Wisconsin has never been know for it's sugar cane and cocoa plantations so I'm definitely bending the rules when I buy those products!
    I guess we are all learning, growing and doing the best that we can.
     
  6. cjsmith

    cjsmith Member

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    Don't be discouraged!! you can buy bars of chocolate from your health food store and chop them up for use in your cookies...just like the expensive gourmet kind!
     
  7. cjsmith

    cjsmith Member

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    oops...sorry. Didn't read all the posts, just jumped in as soon as I read debbie's. Just read the labels .. even at the grocery, you can buy pure chocolate sometimes.
     
  8. sylvar

    sylvar Well-Known Member

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    Barb,
    Chocolate goes stale. Keeping it in the freezer keeps it fresh longer. My mom is a Master Baker. She taught me all kinds of neat things like that.

    Sylvar
     
  9. longshadowfarms

    longshadowfarms Well-Known Member

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    Hunter gatherer, there are ways around the lack of fresh fruit and veggies. I dry apples in the fall to eat through the winter. Other fruit gets frozen when it is in season. Organic bananas were only 10c per pound more than regular bananas recently so that is what I got. I don't eat ALL organic but am moving toward more organic where it is relatively easy. I will also try to grow more veggies into the winter here next year. I'll toss in some websites that I've been researching lately.

    Two provided by someone else here on hte board:
    http://www.elsonhaas.com/articles/article_02.html
    http://www.foodnews.org/tools.php

    A website on trans fats (partially hydrogenated):
    http://www.bantransfats.com/

    A food coop with lots of organic and natural foods:
    http://www.unitedbuyingclubs.com/

    Articles on growing for winter harvest:
    http://www.motherearthnews.com/rec/og/2099/
    http://www.motherearthnews.com/rec/og/2098/
     
  10. Barb

    Barb Well-Known Member

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    You keep chocolate chips long enough to go stale? You've got great willpower! :haha: Seriously, I keep a years supply on hand all the time and never had them go "stale". I think the chocolate companies like Nestle would date chocolate if that were so. You know - a use by date. Ya, ya, I know candy bars are dated or coded but they have Looong dates. Chocolate gets grayish if subjected to changing temps (high temp and then cooled) but according to company still good to use.

    Stick the chocolate in a nice glass jar to keep the bugs out and use it up with in a year works fine for me.

    Shelljo - Chocolate gets a waxy taste when eaten frozen - not that it deters me. And opening the freezer all the time runs up the electric bill :rolleyes: Chocolate screams eat me, eat me where ever it is. Hmm, perhaps if I hid it under that crate with 50 pounds of hamburger in it? Nah, I still would remember exactly where it was.
     
  11. hunter gatherer

    hunter gatherer Well-Known Member

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    I should have been more specific and said that I found it the most challenging to stick with locally grown fruits. We do have organic apples available well into the winter here. I also make applesauce with what we pick. Strawberries, blackberries and raspberries are eaten until we're almost sick of them and then frozen. We also get plums. Things that are impossible to produce here but that my children love are oranges,kiwi, bananas, pineapple etc... I do purchase these at our local co-op but feel guilty as I truely believe it it best for our health and the health of the planet to eat foods produced as near to you as possible.

    I am checking out some of the links that you provided. The transfat one is preaching to the choir here. I cut trans-fat out of our families diet years before this hit mainstream news. It is probably the single most important thing one could do for ones diet.

    United Natural Foods is the distributor that my buying club purchases from. Do you buy through them as well?

    Another website that I love is:

    www.pathtofreedom.com
     
  12. Deb&Al

    Deb&Al Well-Known Member

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    hi all

    i just got a chance to check in and read all your posts. thank you so much for the information and encouragement.

    HG, i've seen the frontier brand in the whole foods store, in the spice section. i am going to check out the ten dollar thing you mentioned.

    also, i've also been interested in the concept of eating food that has been locally produced. as much as we like the topical fruits, i just can't get past the economics of how much it takes to bring that papaya or mango to this country, and it seems like such a waste of fuel for what it must take for the boats that bring it all here.

    i did make a great find last fall. where i live there is a farmer that grows sorgum (sp), and he has like a fall outing, kind of like a big picnic, for anybody who wants to come. there's a horse that is attached to a pole that runs this grinding thing that crushes the sorgum, and then he has a huge kettle where he cooks it down. the final product he sells for 3 dollars a half pint. he's an organic farmer and he really tries to educate anyone who is interested.

    i think that concept is what we really need, but on a larger scale. i'm not saying that he could make a living off selling sorgum, but if people who had a passion for something they like to grow or make, why couldn't there be a way for like-minded folks to get together and have like a little food exchange, or a community store, where you buy each other's products.

    regarding the jello, i'm going to look for that hanes brand. i don't care if the orange jello is clear. i miss jello.

    i really like the posts about being organic and chemical free and i hope everybody keeps posting about this stuff.

    debbie
     
  13. longshadowfarms

    longshadowfarms Well-Known Member

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    Sorry! I diddn't really mean to direct that whole response to you. I just started with the first thought directed toward you and forgot to direct the other thoughts just to the general thread :eek:

    We only buy through the coop I listed above. I really have to do a lot of price checking since most of the smaller items are less expensive elsewhere or you need to buy a LOT to get a better price. The real advantage is that I can buy bulk dry goods (25, 50, 100 lbs) organic there that I can't elsewhere. I also watch for the sale items and stock up or I can also anticipate what my grocer will have on sale depending on what shows up on sale in the catalog and if I only want a small amount, I get it at my grocer. ;)
     
  14. whodunit

    whodunit Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Chocolate doesnt melt well when its stale. My poor dh one night when he was trying to make some double chocolate cookies couldnt for the life of him get some chips to melt. We bought some fresh ones our next shopping trip and no problems.

    Western family chips have vanilla in them.


    For those of you that live in some of the Western states www.azurefarm.com is a place that has all types of wholesome or oraginc foods. You can but in bulk from them. Love their stuff

    Mrs Whodunit
     
  15. minnikin1

    minnikin1 Shepherd

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    Have you written to the Hershey company?
    You could shoot a quick email to them. Tell them how dismayed you are about the vanillin and ask for a refund. Can't hurt to try ....

    Great idea about using Health food store chocolate bars!


    I get so tired of having to read all the packaging in grocery store every time we go. Companies with good practices keep gettting swallowed up by the
    big guys and before you know it, your old familiar products are unrecognizable. I was amazed the other day at the grocery store when I could not find one single piece of gum or a mint without artificial sweeteners. I don't chew gum very often, but my sandwich at lunch had onions that were really hanging with me that day.
     
  16. hunter gatherer

    hunter gatherer Well-Known Member

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    Deb, here is the web address for Frontier's wholesale department: http://wholesale.frontiercoop.com/
    I'm not sure how far you can go without having an account. If you want to speak to a real person about opening an account, their phone # is 1-800-669-3275. I imagine that they could send you one of their catalogs to peruse before you make a decision. They do ship UPS ground and the shipping cost is based on the weight of the shipping not the order total. For an order of $250.00 the shipping costs are waived. I always get together with a couple of friends and order enough to meet the $250.00 free shipping. In addition to all of the spices that you see carried at the health food store, they also carry organic, teas, pastas, drink mixes, dry milk etc. There is a huge section of "other manufacturers products such as Toms of Maine, Burt's bees, Dr. Bronners etc...
    all at wholesale prices!
     
  17. designer

    designer Well-Known Member

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    I love this thread, great info. I checked out the website for Frontier and they ask for a sale tax ID. I was wondering do you have to turn in sales tax on the stuff you and your friends buy?
     
  18. Snowdancer

    Snowdancer Well-Known Member

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    Here's a good site to find whole food cooperatives, natural food stores & health food stores across the US.

    http://www.greenpeople.org/healthfood.htm


    I use & can recommend with a clear conscience
    www.morningsidefarm.com
    they're out of Liberty,TN
    they also ship (except for refrigerated & frozen items)
    Good folks, great prices and a tremendous variety.
     
  19. GrannySue

    GrannySue Active Member

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    Just have to say - you guys are GREAT!!! Its sooooo goood to be back, lol!
    I must have 6 windows open where I'm still 'lost' in the websites!

    (Thanks!!! - almost makes crashing my computer a blessing, lol!)

    Sue
     
  20. Jenn

    Jenn Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Read a good British (Soil Association- an organic farming group) article about eating organic/local despite higher cost. The article had pointed out we shouldn't eat so much meat anyway so spending a lot for a smaller amount of nontoxic meat is all around better for the world and us. So I ordered a bunch of local organic meat- $12/# (only 150% nonorganic Brit prices but I usually get US for $3/#) for hamburger. Will decide if it tastes okay (US steaks I can get taste awful so if the organic steaks taste good I'll start eating steaks as a luxury item).

    And loss of treats not avail org- well we bought Heinz org ketchup but hate the taste so only get one every few months to see if the taste is better yet.