Drop the Plastic and Build a Pantry for a Better Planet
January 18, 2015
Having a well-stocked pantry is key to my creative cooking. The larger the variety of nuts, seeds, dried fruits, grains and beans that are around, the more fun I can have cooking up breakfast and dinner. When you have the staples ready at hand, it’s easy to add in some fresh vegetables and cook up any kind of soup, stir-fry and salad that your heart desires. There are all kinds of guides on the Internet and in cookbooks for how to stock your pantry. But if you’re ever not sure, just have a look through the bulk section at Olives Community Market or any grocery store! Items that we stock in bulk are usually the freshest and most-used pantry ingredients.
Stocking up a pantry from the bulk section is also a great way to save on excessive packaging. Have you ever admired our compostable brown bulk bags or noticed how sturdy they are? I often take them up the mountain with me filled with bulk bin snacks – dried mangos, apricots and walnuts being a favourite mix. Along with being compostable, these bags are incredibly re-useable. Combined with a little bit of jar saving, you can turn your pantry into a zero-waste system. Fill your cupboards with glass jars to hold your pantry items. Use and re-use those bulk bags to transport your goods from the grocery store to home! They fold up nicely and can be stored in your re-useable grocery bag for your next visit.
Storing your food in glass has the added health benefit of reducing your exposure to plastics. While minute exposures may be of little or no concern, imagine the build-up of plastic residues and chemicals that could occur over a lifetime of eating plastic-wrapped food. Similarly, imagine what a lifetime of plastic-wrapped food packaging looks like . . . hmmm sounds like a lot of garbage to me! Which brings me back to my motto; we’re all connected. If it’s good for the planet, then it’s good for us, too. Plastic packaging = bad karma vibes, and who knows where along its life cycle it’s going to kill a dolphin, suffocate a seagull or get eaten by your next salmon. Hey, I know it isn’t easy – but let’s all try to stay clear of plastics around our food! It’s easy and fun to shop bulk-style and have a pantry ready to go at home.