Mindfulness Of The Environment: Tiny Steps Towards An Eco Kitchen


A while back a friend of mine invited me over for dinner.  She told me that she was doing the Pantry Challenge where you don’t shop for new groceries until you’ve used what you already have. It proves to be an easy way to practice mindfulness of the environment.

So the Pantry Challenge is an intriguing idea and I tried it with my freezer rather than the pantry since the freezer at home is usually bulging. Is there anyone else who is with me on this?


Great Challenges Come With Awesome Results


First of all, I was reminded of the radio show The Splendid Table where people call in and challenge the host come up with recipe ideas using three strange or mismatched ingredients they have.

When I came up with something particularly unusual I said Ha! Top that Lynn Rosetto Kasper! (the host of the show). Next, I found that the internet is so full of recipes that almost anything you can think of has been done and that you can search by a combination of ingredients if you are truly at a loss for ideas.


How Can We Practice Mindfulness Of The Environment


My experience is that setting these limitations really gets the creative cooking juices flowing. Although there may be a bit of frustration if you are having a food craving but if it gets really bad you can always go out to eat.

Anyway as I was dealing with the oddball things that emerged from the depths of the freezer drawer (you know what I’m talking about), and trying to come up with tasty concoctions in which to use them it occurred to me what a good practice this is.


Keeping a positive focus and reminding myself to use what we have and not be wasteful.


Keeping in mind where our food comes from and how much work and resources go into producing it helps make you feel good about not being wasteful. A good deal of convenience foods come from the freezer and reading the labels imported from India or imported from China can bring the truth home. Somebody grew this food, petroleum resources and heavy equipment were used to harvest and package it. Then it travelled half way around the world – probably on some container ship and then by truck to get to the store.


Go Creative, Go Mindful!


By using what we already have we are showing respect and concern about the effort that went into making these products. We are valuing the resources used, the land that produced it, and the people who laboured to make it available to us.

It’s really easy to lose track of these realities. It may be difficult to change our behaviour and practice mindfulness of the environment when we can just go to the store and buy almost anything our hearts’ desire.

But it’s a good practice to remember to be grateful for our food and where it came from. And in part we can accomplish this by not being wasteful. It’s just a tiny step we can take, but if we all make the effort it can make a big difference.


SparkYourBloom Today And Everyday!


Belinda is a writer, editor, explorer, cook and gardener. She loves to travel and goes wherever frequent flyer miles will take her. When she is not roving round the planet, diving in the sea, or skiing down a mountain she might be found working in her impractically large vegetable garden or sitting amidst a stack of cookbooks concocting ideas for some crazy new thing to cook in the kitchen. She has practiced yoga for twenty years and two years ago started a meditation practice, which is still very much a work in progress. She lives in Northern California.

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