Monday, February 22, 2010

The Week of Eating In

Bleatings from EnviRambo.

I just received a copy of Cathy Erway's new book The Art of Eating In: How I Learned To Stop Spending & Love The Stove. Then shortly after, I received an email from Huffington Post announcing their Week of Eating In. Is the universe trying to tell me something?

We actually do not eat out much. Since starting to make most of our meals from scratch, I have become disenchanted with restaurant food. But I know that plenty of Americans do eat out, in fact, some rarely eat in. And then there are those that do eat in, but do not cook their food. Sure they "cook" it, as in apply heat, but they do not really "cook" it, as in prepare it from whole ingredients. HuffPost is challenging participants to do just that.
We encourage you to use basic, whole food ingredients to prepare food, avoiding pre-packaged, pre-made food, like frozen dinners and ready-to-eat canned goods, but there are no strict rules. Make the rules for yourself. If this experiment for you means making your own bread and eating locally, so be it. If it means turning on your stove for the first time in your life, that's great too.
The Week of Eating In starts today, February 22, running through the next seven days. Along the way HuffPost is offering encouragement, articles, recipes, and even apps to help participants out. If I had a cell phone the Locavore and Good Guide Apps would be on it. Think your kitchen is too small to prepare a good meal in? Think again. Check out these tiny kitchens that still manage to crank out the homemade goodness. HuffPost is even offering a spreadsheet to track your savings from eating in compared to eating out.

Eating in not only brings monetary savings, but also savings for the environment too. Just think of all take-out packaging, disposable plastic, styrofoam and paper that will be avoided by preparing your meals at home. Eating in comes with the added bonus of knowing exactly what is in your food because you put it there. At restaurants you have no idea and no control over how much salt is used, the type of oil food is fried in, where ingredients come from, whether food is prepared fresh or reheated from frozen, or the price. Cooking at home makes you much more mindful of all of these. It also makes you more aware of just how much you eat. It is way too easy to rip open a bag of candy and eat all of it without giving it a second thought! But, spend an hour baking a batch of cookies and you will most likely savor every bite. Eating in will have you eating healthier overall, even when it comes to sweets. One of Michael Pollan's Food Rules is eat as much junk food as you want, as long as you make it yourself.

Take back the control over what you put in your body and join me along with the Huffington Post community in The Week of Eating In.


concretenprimroses said...

I like the food rule about eating your own home made junk food only!
We almost always eat in, though I do make rice from a box as often as not for example. Just bought a bunch of local food at the winter farmer's market so we'll try to give it a go!

zee said...

I'm in! You're right -- when you prepare your own food and eat in, you know exactly what you're putting in your body. I think this is a fab idea and will definitely spread the word! It's really great that HuffPost is offering encouragement, articles, recipes, and apps to help those who will take this challenge!

We'll tweet about this -- thanks for the info!

panamamama said...

I'm in! Mondays are so hard for us though as the kids have stuff going til 7, so we don't get home til almost 8... Going to put pizza dough to rise before I go get them.
We don't eat out much because of the same reasons- usually so disappointed.
Going to try your idea about homemade junkfood only- I do crave a good chip now and again, but homemade are so much yummier!

Wonder-ful said...

We have a tendency to make a large pot of food then eat the leftovers for the following few days. My grandparents are so use to cooking for larger gatherings, and it does save us time not having to cook every day.

I think of it as our compromise between daily fresh dinners and daily fast food crud.

And hey... we just made a big pot of clam chowder. What's one more reason to eat bowl after bowl of the yummy homemade stuff :)

Country Girl in the City said...

I'm in! Although I'm usually eating in these days anyways. I'm one of those who likes to feed people (as opposed to one who really likes to cook). If I'm on my own, you'll probably find me eating over the kitchen sink. But if I'm preparing a meal for friends and family, I really get into it. A number of years ago I decided I was eating out way to much so I gave up restaurant food for lent. It turned out to be a lot easier than I thought and I'm finally starting to learn to appreciate just the art of creating a nice, tasty, home cooked meal, even if it is just for me.

The Nurturing Pirate said...

Great idea! One habit we've gotten into is having Family Dinner Night with our friends. We alternate the cooking responsibilities (entre, side, dessert) and cook together. It's a fun way to unwind and the kids love playing together while we cook.

Daisy said...

I've increased out Eating In and cut back on Eating Out in the past two years. This would be easy - well, sort of. I have three evening commitments this week, and Grandma will take the teen out to eat one night. I think I'll say okay.

Kellie said...

Count me in too! We don't do much eating out these days either, but I'd love to spend a week making as much as possible from scratch. Thanks for sharing this!

Sandy said...

I have a snow day today (I'm a teacher), so I had the chance to do some wholesome breakfast cooking. You can check out my organic, homemade recipe on my blog. What I do during the normal work week is grab premade sections of omelet from a bag in the chest freezer as I head out to work. Then I nuke them there and have a homemade, healthy breakfast before I begin my classes.

greeen sheeep said...

Forgive me green-bloggers for I have sinned.

Things were going great until yesterday... then I failed miserably. I was super-swamped with Earth Month work, we decided to go to Saturday night church service, and I was not up to cooking from scratch at 7:00 at night. So we headed to town after church with the intent of having something meatless (we gave up meat for Lent) and plastic free. Figuring Olive Garden was our best bet we were a bit dismayed to learn of the hour wait. Not wanting to wait that long we headed across the street to Culver's. Okay, meatless may be out, but at least they will have fish. I ordered the walleye dinner and was horrified to receive my order on a plastic plate, with plastic cutlery, and a plastic container of tarter sauce on the side. I have never ordered a dinner from Culver's before. We always get a sandwich of some sort that comes in a paper basket. Needless to say I committed three sins in one fell swoop. I ate out, I ate meat, and I wasted a lot of plastic. To top it off the dinner sucked. I think I was being punished for my transgressions.

How did your week of eating in go?


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