Do you have food integrity?

09 Mar

Here I am, stuck this morning making brownies for my daughter’s school project. Still wondering how a “group home project in socialization” turned out to be a solo act. And she tops it off with a kiss on the cheek and says, “Don’t forget to bring them by 10:00 mom, I’ll text you!” Wow…she will definitely be getting a pep talk from me this evening…(Lol!)

Today I want to talk about staying the course and keeping your food integrity. If you have been following this blog and applying it to your life, by now you have made a decision about your food “way of life” and have made strides in maintaining it. You might have started small, but at least you started! I made the commitment to only prepare whole foods and yesterday I was put to the challenge. I was about to make my family a baked ziti when I realized I was fresh out of marinara. Instead of running to the store and buying a store brand, I opted to crank out the big pot and take the time to make mine from scratch first. I made 3 gallons (yes 3!) of marinara sauce, used part in my recipe, and froze the rest in 32 oz delitainers, yielding me 6 beautiful containers of delicious marinara sauce for future recipes. But the journey there was not without its challenges. Let me share mine…

During the washing and chopping of the vegetables, I thought to myself “What have I gotten myself into? I got plenty of other things to do. A jar of Ragu sounds pretty tempting right about now.” At the 20 minute saute stage, I kept asking, “Can I shave off a few minutes here or there. It looks done enough to me.” As I was pureeing the whole plum tomatoes, all I could focus on was the mess being made (Lol!). Once I combined the fragrant vegetable saute with the tomatoes, I could see a light at the end of the tunnel. As I stirred everything together, I felt like things had finally came together. It was at the simmer that I could let out a big sigh of relief, as I had one hour to chill while the sauce thickened to that rich, red, sauce I have come to love – made from scratch. Even at simmer I was tempted to crank up the heat and rush things, but I knew that the integrity of my baked ziti was depending on a great, low simmered sauce . . .so I waited. 2-1/2 hours later from start to finish, the marinara was done, my baked ziti was out the oven, and we were enjoying the fruit of all the effort put in. As I reflected on the journey, I came up with this summarization…

I realized I had faced what ALOT of home cooks face everyday, feeling pinched for time, hungry kids and a husband in tow, and the pressure to put dinner on the table real quick. I could see how many, even though they want to adhere to a wholesome whole food way of cooking, settle for quick take-outs or an instant version. Granted, you don’t have to spend a mid week making marinara (next time I will definitely do it as a weekend project) like I did. But it will require a little planning, some preparation, and the fortitude to see it through from start to finish. Why do you think we have fast food joints littering our avenues and highways? Because they have become the safety net for home cooking – but at great expense to our health and nutrition. For me, that is too high a cost to pay, no matter how that dollar burger might sound tempting.

I want to leave you with this. If you can endure the chopping, look pass the mess, and just get to simmer – over time you will have mastered the staying power of what it takes to have food integrity. You will have a brand for your kitchen that says, “only the best comes from here.” Will you get tired, yes; will you yearn for shortcuts, absolutely – but the end result will always be greater than the effort put in. Stay the course, stay true to your commitment to food, and maintain your food integrity.

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Posted by on March 9, 2012 in Uncategorized


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