Nothing is quite as awesome as leftover homemade black bean burgers!
We (my mom and I) spent most of the day putting in our garden. It’s just a small one, but heck do we ever get a ton of pleasure out of it! This year we planted pumpkins, zucchini, sugar snap peas, green and yellow beans,beets, parsnips, carrots, tomatoes, and watermelon. I’m working on digging up a big patch in the back so I can plant some wild blue sage, dill, mint, and basil as well. I normally just grow a planter of fresh herbs in my kitchen, but I feel like it’s time to commit a bit more and actually start a real herb garden. I just can’t seem to grow enough sage or dill in pots or planters as I’m a HUGE fan of both. Nothing quite beats making MASSIVE pots of super dilly beet borscht with garden fresh ingredients when our chilly Canadian Autumn hits.
Doing the gardening and yard work today, combined with yesterday’s local March on Monsanto rally has really got me thinking about how simple and affordable it really is to eat mostly organic and GMO free. I live on under 600.00 a month (including my half of the mortgage and bills) a lot of the year, and I’m able to eat really well on that so long as I keep my eating habits very rustic and simple.
Simply put, if one is willing to eat the same way most of the less developed world does, it’s dirt cheap.
I buy organic non-gmo brown rice at a local Japanese market (Japanese markets are awesome sorces of organic whole foods if you know a bit about macrobiotics and you’re comfortable asking questions). They keep their prices nice and low by buying bulk, and dividing the rice etc into different sized bags for resale. It’s always super high quality and super fresh. One of my other major staples is beans. Most of the time I buy bulk dried beans, cook them up in my crock pot and divide them into single serving freezer bags and thaw them as needed.
Even on my tiny budget I’m able to eat abundant amounts of organic produce because I’m saving so much money by not buying many pre-packaged foods and household supplies. Realistically, the fewer “packaged” foods you eat, the fewer of your staples will be genetically modified. You just need to learn how to shop smart, and to do your best to avoid purchasing many food items which require an ingredient list. Hell, at one popular burger joint, even the salt packets have three ingredients listed.
It does take some time to get used to creating routines like cooking ahead, and keeping your pantry stocked with whole foods, and it also takes some effort to get your taste buds acclimated to the earthier flavour profiles.
Today I made a double batch of The Veganomicon’s black bean burgers, so I’ll have quick meals in my fridge and freezer for nights when I’m too tired, or too busy to prepare anything fancy. Pre-cooking things like veggie burgers, brown rice, beans, millet etc and storing them for busy days really does make living this way seem pretty simple. I do of course have some simple frozen packaged food around, but for the most part I’ve got this whole home-cooking thing down to an art-form. It’s easy enough and economical enough that anyone can do it.
Most of us have been brainwashed into thinking that food has to be decadent and easy (and full of animal products)and truthfully, there’s no good reason why we in the industrialized world should be eating such nutritionally deficient,genetically modified, and energetically dead food. True abundance doesn’t look much like the Standard American Diet, or our current “civilized” lifestyle. Less industrialized countries have many really valuable lessons to teach us. If we were to fall in line with what the rest of the world is eating, we’d have plentiful resources to SHARE with our fellow Earthlings.