The little Clay Pot

Lots of things can go in a little Clay Pot

Waste not Want not. April 6, 2010

An Italian friend of mine told me a few years ago about her grandmother visiting from Italy.  She described the way that her grandmother ate EVERYthing off a chicken bone and how it made her (my friend) feel very wasteful for throwing away food on her plate.

My husbands grandfather has a collection of empty match boxes.  I haven’t seen it myself, but every account likens it to a rather large collection.  Apparently there is no designated purpose for these match boxes, but they are kept…just because you never know when you might want to….what exactly would you want to do with 50 match boxes?

My mother-in-law taught me to wash my gently used baggies.  At first, I openly admit, I thought she was insane.  Then a girlfriend told me about someone who threw out a gallon baggy after a package of opened crackers had been kept in it for a few days.  Now, I tell myself I wash them sometimes–so that I don’t feel guilty for the times I don’t. *GRIN*

Let’s get to the point.  As I was working on the menu for next week, considering what I have, what I will need to get, recipes, schedules, the “sensitive” palates of my children and their extreme displeasure for casserole type food…it occurred to me…”Why am I planning a meal I am not going to want to fix, and that no one is going to want to eat?”  When this happens, there are left overs that no one wants to eat, and then they inevitably get thrown away.  Combine that with some exceptional circumstances that are going to seriously mess up our daily “schedules” over the next couple of weeks…and I decided to embrace the simple.  So the menu reflects just that: Sandwiches, pizza, &  hotdogs (Now stop your grimacing, I can actually get these through CNY Bounty and they are Delicious! No preservatives and made with local meat.)

I hope this tactic works!  I even think that I am going to try to make pizza’s this weekend and freeze them so that they are all ready and I will not be tempted to order pizza for delivery…a luxury we pay an extra $10.00 for, living out here in the boonies!

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You are what you eat… February 22, 2010

I am in the middle of a semester where I am working on a large project that has to do with the food we eat and our health.  As a RN I firmly believe that we are what we eat…or rather consume.

Consumption is the only word that really describes my feelings towards American Culture.  If you really stop and take a moment to think about it…What have you eaten today? How did you get to work?  What are you wearing?  How many lights are on in your house right now? How many major appliances?  What will you buy this week?  Look at the packaging of something you buy regularly…what happens to it when it you are done with it?  Even our higher-end items are touted as disposable…I recently had a conversation with a Dell employee about my Dell all in one printer…that we got in the spring of 2007.  Three years ago.  I was told that I really needed to consider a new printer because the average life of a printer is only 2 years!  Well then for crying out loud the one I have is like an ancient artifact!  And we havn’t even started to think about the extra’s–we really have only addressed aspects of daily living.  Consumption is an unavoidable fact…but what are the consequences?

The United States is in a crisis of Health…We eat too much of the wrong foods and we don’t exercise enough…our livers, pancreas’, hearts, and circulatory systems are forced into failure by our own habits…cirrhosis, diabetes, heat attacks, and strokes.  We demand the products and the ease of living that causes toxins to be dumped into our back yards that cause cancer and birth defects.  More and more we are finding that the things that were invented to make out lives easier are making our lives sicker.  And we all want to be healthy…so we go to the doctor or to the hospital and demand treatment…for a problem that we created…and by demanding that treatment we cause more problems…there are not enough nurses, the supplies all have to be made in a plant, shipped, wrapped in something disposable…even in our poor health we demand and consume.

The first place the Bible (KJV) uses the word Consume is in Genesis 41:30 “And there shall arise after them seven years of famine; and all the plenty shall be forgotten in the land of Egypt; and the famine shall consume the land.”  Now this is talking about a specific event…but isn’t it too poetically ironic that a Famine shall consume anything?  In my little understanding of agriculture a famine can be caused by natural disasters or my the mistakes of man.  Public education taught me that the dust bowl was the result of over use of the land, rendering it useless.  So if poor decisions and overuse (consumption again) lead to famine…what kind of a metaphorical/literal famine are we headed for!? And how do our consumptions stand posed…just waiting to consume us?

This little Clay Pot doesn’t have an answer for all the questions…but I do know that I want to stop consuming sooooo much.  I want to feed my family foods that fill their bellies and help them to be healthy…not with foods that wear out their body systems and pollute the earth that they play on.  I want to help others question why we demand the things we demand…and is it good for us?  I don’t want to tell anybody what to do, or that my way is the right way…but let’s all start asking the questions “Do I really need this,  and what does it really do for me?”