"To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art." - La Rochefoucauld

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Extreme (GREEN) Pantry Make-Over

My sister inspired me to do an extreme pantry makeover this weekend. However, it was a lot more time consuming than I anticipated. It is so hard to find time to do organization projects, now that I am mother. All of this stuff gets pushed to the back burner. I finally made it a priority and boy oh boy....I love it! Things are sooo much better when they are visual appealing! Every time I open my pantry, I feel a sense of pride and happiness versus stress and anger as a box of cereal is falling on my head.

I decided to take my organization project one step further and make some green changes. Here is a list of ways you can do an extreme (GREEN) pantry.

1. DO A MAJOR CLEANING OVER HAUL: Be sure to use green products to wipe down your cabinets. The pantry is no place for harsh chemicals.

2. TOSS EXPIRED FOODS: I was surprised to find cans from 2008! I thought I was somewhat on top of things before my makeover...but I was WRONG!

3. READ LABELS: In the process of going green over the last few years, I am not one to toss the naughty food or chemical ridden products. It is a huge waste of money. I like to use things up first and then make my move to a better product. However, there are some things I will not knowingly consume, now that I know how toxic/harmful they are. For example, to start, foods you should toss/use up and then switch (your preference) are foods that contain any of the following: A) High Fructose Corn Syrup B) Sodium Nitrate (This chemical is used to preserve processed meats and is linked to an increase in cancer, particularly stomach cancer), C) Hydrogenated and Partially Hydrogenated Fats or Trans Fats (Linked to heart attacks and cardiac deaths) and D) MSG. I like to keep little sticky notes in my cabinet or purse as a personal reminder of which ingredients I should steer clear of.

4.BYE-BYE PLASTIC: Over the last year, I have switched my Tupperware to glass containers. Recently, I purchased some glass Fido jars at IKEA and Crate & Barrel for my oats, nuts, seeds, quinoa, rice, etc. Be sure to recycle the boxes you empty. I just love the way it looks! Plus, Miss Lana loves to rearrange my pantry during dinner time and usually spills quinoa all over my kitchen floor. Not any more!! :)

5. ORGANIZE: Rearrange your pantry like the grocery store. Put all of the baking stuff together, the cans, the pasta, etc. Also put the older cans in front and the newer ones in back. Use up the old stuff first.

6. LABEL: Labeling your pantry will help the entire family know where various items are located. Use a label maker if you have one. For the little ones who can't read yet, put little clip art pictures next to the words. The kids love helping me unload groceries. I am sure that won't last forever, but for now it is a fun game for them. However, I usually find sour cream in my pantry a week later. :)

PS) Confession: My pantry is not 100% green. My hubby still requests certain naughty foods like good old toxic Ramen noodles. I still can't believe we lived off of this devilish food in our college years. I should have known how bad they are when you can purchase 100 of them for $10.00!

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