Real Food Rehab

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I am grateful I grew up with a large extended family and parents that survived the Great Depression but some times I take “Waste Not-Want Not” to the extreme. I worked hard to get over cleaning my plate because of the starving children across the seas. That made no sense to me anyway. I knew that food left on my plate would turn to garbage before it got across the seas. That problem was solved by just placing less food on my plate. But when it comes to peeling a potato, I can peel the skin off it thinner than anyone I’ve had the pleasure of standing alongside of prepping a traditional Thanksgiving feast! Same goes for any other root vegetable or thin skinned food!

Now all this past conditioning to not waste food carries over into my high raw vegan lifestyle. That’s good when it comes to my green and fruit smoothies. I know I’m going to consume everything that goes in and comes out of that super blender. Also, when saving pulp to make a dehydrated treat, it must be pure. I was prepping celery and carrots today to put through the juicer. I take so long to get every speck of anything resembling dirt or suspicious looking scrubbed or removed. Now is this really necessary to be this picky when I’m going to put the raw veggies or fruit through the juicer? What to scrub off and what to cut away is taking some valuable time when you are making a gallon of juice for the busy day. Do you think I was just born this way? Or do you think it all goes back to all the wise grown-ups that taught me, “Waste Not-Want Not”. God bless their influence on my frugal mentality no matter how confusing it can range. If they could see my “American Made” red mini van loaded with recyclables, I wonder what they would say to me. If Grandma Bowman went through my two junk drawers and pieces of this and that stored in my sewing room; would I be called a hoarder? Or would they say, “You got it! Waste Not-Want Not!”

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Comment by Susan : ) on October 31, 2011 at 4:38pm
Learning to let go of what no longer serves us at this time is soo important! : )
Comment by Vicki L Davis on September 15, 2011 at 5:19pm
I am a bit of a hoarder too. I hate to throw anything away and I hall everything from work, (recycled materials) home with me too I would like to think you are in good company : ). I wish everyone would do their part as you do...Vicki
Comment by Renee OrJustRen on September 15, 2011 at 12:07pm

love this! I still struggle with not cleaning my plate. Or wasting food in any way...  Im thankful that some of my "waste" becomes crackers... that always makes me feel soooo good :) and the other becomes compost to grow more veggies... hurrah hurrah! :)

that mantra runs deep and strong

Comment by Diana Mars on August 13, 2011 at 2:36am
I think this Great Depression mentality's time has come again & I am so happy about it.  It is so important to recycle, reuse, pass it along. . . it is infinitely satisfying to find the next home or use for an article.   My brother is making a living by collecting amazing things people throw out & reselling them!!   Oh, and I agree, the whole juicing or smoothy thing is such an easy way to use everything up!!!!   then any scraps I have go back to the earth via compost.  I must admit though I am very casual about cleaning & cutting - I agree that a bit of dirt may have some of that B12 that we need & maybe we have become a bit too sterile?!
Comment by Aran M Cockburn on May 29, 2011 at 3:53pm

Another reason to not be too picky about cleaning fruits and veggies is this fact. You can get vitamin B12 on fruits and veggies that are not spotlessly clean, it's in the soil.... So all that dirt we ate playing oin the muck as kids? It was good for us!  

It's true, I can give the link if anyone wants it, just message me, I'm not sure of the rules on providing links around here.


Comment by djd on January 22, 2011 at 3:25pm
I was raised that way too and still feel obligated to clean my plate.  I try to be careful about portions now to help with that.  As for vegetable peelings, it is great to have a compost pile and chickens.  :-)  We recycle things too and have to be strict with ourselves every once in a while to clear out the way far over reasonable amount of things that "might come in handy."
Comment by Celia Ellen on November 26, 2010 at 1:49pm
Hi Mae, If you saw how quickly I wash my juicer you would probably recoil in horror. My family raised me to clean like a fanatic, but I figure that it's just not that important in my life. In fact, they're discovering that kids raised in a super clean environment are more immune system issues.

But I certainly love spotless homes. I'm always in AWE.

I too hate to waste. It's like... "Don't be a greedbag. People would kill for that scrap of bread!"

But now I think, "This is going back to Mother Earth and is going to be recyled. The Earth is SOOOO bountiful. Especially when we grow natural and compost."

Comment by Bette Bliss Shaw on September 15, 2010 at 6:15am
O the worms found......eeeeeek I wonder, due to that, if I am still a non meat eater....hahahaha

Thrifty is a goody.

I toss it all in, with a few cuts and removals and let it whirl. I have heard where the produce from the organic garden can be looke dover but is soooo good unwashed. Depending on what it is, I will nto wash it if I dont have to.
Comment by Treesa on September 15, 2010 at 12:32am
Nicely written. Thanks for the post. Now I can go to bed having had a little chuckle for the day. I used to be a geriatric social I've had/heard my share of instructions. Gotta love those 'wise' old grown-ups.
Comment by MaryKatherine on September 15, 2010 at 12:29am
Amen. I hear you, I do, I do. I finally got over cleaning my plate, but then there was my kids's plates, and now the grandkids. I repeat my mantra as I stare at their plate, "I am not the garbage can, I am NOT the garbage can."
I am making my second batch of juice today and see the brown spot I missed cutting off. Surely I can just pop it in the it'll just take a second to cut it off. And I better rinse again for good measure...there was the worm I found on the leaf the other day.

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