We could all use some tips for Christmas dinner, eating healthy, trying to keep your meal as organic and green as possible. I’m sure you know that it can be a challenge. Not only do you want you meal to be delicious, but you also want it to be nutritious. I don’t mean that you shouldn’t have a piece of pie or that some of that chocolate mousse that is calling your name, because after all it’s Christmas and I feel that we all need to indulge a little sometimes. After saying that I would like to give you a few tips on what foods to buy and how to eat, cook, and store you food safely. So take notes!
Just a few tips to eat and live Green this Christmas:
1. Eat Organic: Treat your guests to a home and food that are healthy for them and the environment. Try to choose foods that don’t have added chemical and pollutants such as pesticides, hormones, artificial additives, dyes, or any toxic chemicals. Try to buy organic meat which helps to limit your families exposure to growth hormones, and antibiotics. Choose local meats which will usually means that they are certified humane, grass-fed, unprocessed, low-sodium and nitrate free. Sometimes organic meats can be very expensive so I will buy preservative, hormone, and antibiotic free poultry. One company that sells this product is Perdue. For EWG meat eaters guide click here.
2. Forget the canned foods: Always try to choose fresh foods – According to EWG canned foods (including canning jars) sold in the U.S. have BPA-based epoxy liner that can leach BPA poisons into the food or even other containers that leak contaminants and toxic chemicals into the food and add poisons to your body.Prepared foods such as pastas and soups tend to have higher levels of BPA. Eventually it can overload you body with pollutants and can cause many health issues.
Buy fresh or frozen vegetables instead! For canned veggies and fruits, choose glass bottles where available; the lids may contain BPA but less than cans.
A little extra info from EWG website–More than 100 peer-reviewed studies have found BPA to be toxic at low doses, some similar to those found in people, yet not a single regulatory agency has updated safety standards to reflect this low-dose toxicity. FDA estimates that 17% of the U.S. diet comprises canned food; they last examined BPA exposures from food in 1996 but failed to set a safety standard.
3. Use safe cookware: The Environmental Working Group (EWG) suggests using cast iron, stainless steel, or glass— these are all non-toxic. They also conclude that most companies with new cookware on the market do not tell you exactly what they contain. According to the EWG–They don’t have to release their safety data to the public. Please –Beware of new pans or any cookware that doesn’t list what is on the label! I feel that is a company doesn’t want to list the ingredients then they must have something to hide.
Skip the non-stick pans so that your family or guests don’t breathe toxic fumes from overheated non-stick pans. Using a great pan makes a huge difference even in the taste of the food.
But if you only have non-stick cookware here are a few tips to help —Never heat an empty pan, especially at high heat, don’t put non-stick baking pans in an oven hotter than 500 degrees F, and use your stove’s exhaust fan to help take some of the toxic fumes out of the house. Please –Beware of new pans that don’t list what is on the label!
4. Storing Your Leftovers Foods Safely: After everyone has enjoyed their meal and has stuffed themselves there is always leftovers and we need to make sure that we are storing them safely and being health conscious. You should always store foods in glass containers such as Pyrex storage containers, no plastic containing BPA contaminants! Many times I use glass canning jars I have saved – they work great to store foods.
Some foods need to be kept in the fridge to help stop bacteria growing such as cooked foods and ready-to-eat foods such as desserts.“Make sure food has cooled down before you put it in the fridge,” says Philippa Hudson, senior lecturer in food safety at Bournemouth University. “If the food is still hot it will raise the temperature in the fridge, which isn’t safe as it can promote bacterial growth.”
Some tips to help prevent bacteria from growing: Keep your fridge temperature below 5C, when preparing food, keep it out of the fridge for the shortest time possible, if you’re having a buffet, keep the food refrigerated until you’re ready to serve it, cool leftovers as quickly as possible (within 90 minutes) and store them in the fridge, and try to eat them within two days.
Let’s make this year a truly green Christmas that lasts all year-long. We all need to get together and “Go Green,” live our lives everyday remembering that it is up to each one of us to do our part to clean up the environment and to “Save Our Planet Earth!”
I would like to take the time to tell you how much I appreciate you loyally and wish you a wonderful Christmas and hope that you have a joyous day that will continue throughout the year. I hope your heart is filled with warmth and love and whatever religion, Christian protestant, Catholic, or Jewish it really doesn’t matter — that you will live in harmony with your families, friends, and all people that surround you and bring peace to our troubled world. Make this your best Christmas yet! There are some many people and families that have so little that if we can just find it in our heart to share with those that don’t have, then we have celebrated the true meaning of Christmas Joy. May you and your family share all the joy, love, and warmth and start an epidemic throughout the world of giving to those you need the most!
Quote of the Day: Let us remember that the Christmas heart is a giving heart, a wide open heart that thinks of others first. The birth of the baby Jesus stands as the most significant event in all history, because it has meant the pouring into a sick world of the healing medicine of love which has transformed all manner of hearts for almost two thousand years. Underneath all the bulging bundles is this beating Christmas heart! – George Matthew Adams