Image by revrev via Flickr
So this evening I was afforded the opportunity by Jen the chance to attend the Shop Smarter class put on by Stacy Klone of Kitchen Werks. I was super excited to have the chance to see Stacy speak again. She has presented at the last two PriorFatGirl events. I take something away every time I see her speak and this time was no exception.
Class was held at Byerly’s in Minnetonka. If you aren’t from the Twin Cities area both Lunds and Byerlys are local very nice stores! Great selections of higher grade meats and cheeses excellent produce selection and for those that choose to indulge a bakery section that is to die for!
So for those that were unable to attend class tonight, there are things I just can’t recap, you missed out! The conversations that were sparked from the interactions with participants in class were just incredible, I do think several people were shocked to learn that Trader Joe’s is owned by the same company that owns Aldi. (I did know this, it falls into my useless trivia that will help me out someday file).
I did take a bunch of notes, nowhere near as comprehensive as the recap from the PFG event though. Sorry guys, my ODC wasn’t working on no sleep overtime tonight. I was well rested and only one 1 Latte and 1 Tea.
Some of what was touched on was covered at the first PFG event, and I was happy to have a refresher course on it. I have taken many of the suggestions to heart and use them in my life.
- Write your weekly menu. I do this on Sunday. In fact it is possibly the least favorite part of my Sunday. Robb and I wake up and play the… “What do you want for dinner this week?” game. We have a book in which our “go to” dinners are listed in. Everything from Sloppy Joes or Chicken Sausage with Rotini and zucchini to Salad or Soup is in that little book. We flip through it and try to imagine what will work best for our weekly schedule.
- Make a Shopping List and Buy only the items on that list! Take an inventory of what is in your pantry when making your list when we decide our menu I often pick foods that we already have in the house. For example, if I have a hunk of pork loin in the freezer then I know I don’t need to buy that and we can have a loin roast, so if I need to buy something for it, specific to whatever I am serving with it, aromatics or whatever I can plan other dishes for the week to go with it.
- Don’t shop when you are hungry! (Duh!) My wallet has felt the brunt of this a few too many times. Robb and I will go shopping and all of a sudden the cart will be full of junk, and there we are at the checkout line and I am tossing junk out of the cart because I KNOW it wasn’t on the list.
I don’t want to give away off of Stacy’s class info because I want you to take her class but there is some valuable info I want to share with you about organic produce. Yes it is more expensive. But when you put better things in your body your body will treat you better and thank you for it. Also the more local organic foods you buy the cheaper they get.
The Dirty Dozen
That being said here is a Dirty Dozen Produce List. These are the 12 items that contain the some of the highest levels of pesticides and chemicals. So if you are going to buy organic these are the items you probably want to spend your money here first. In no particular order…
Apples, Nectarines, Pears, Raspberries, Bell Peppers, Imported Grapes, Cherries, Peaches, Potatoes, Strawberries, Celery, & Spinach.
Honorable mentions to this list, as I know they have been on previous versions of the Dirty Lists, (Maybe top 15 lists somewhere?) Blueberries, Peaches, Kale, & Carrots
Rinsing and peeling veggies and fruits can reduce pesticides but will not eliminate them.
The Clean 15
The Clean Fifteen list is the list where you can opt to skip the organic label. These are often fruits and veggies with heartier skin, where their flesh is more protected. (not a hard fast rule though) You always have the option to buy organic, but if you are on a limited budget these are where to skip for sure!
Asparagus, Avocado,, Broccoli, Cabbage, Eggplant, Onion, Sweet Potato, Sweet Corn, Sweet Peas, Tomato, Kiwi, Pineapple, Mango, Watermelon.
Honorable mention goes to Bananas!
We toured the store, which is different from shopping. We looked at labels of a few products, learned how to pick out a piece of fish. I learned why the deli counter should be a priority stop for me as opposed to those Hillshire Farms deli meat’s that I buy all the time. No more seaweed and salt/sugar fillers for my sandwiches. Other people can eat the junky stuff I want whole muscle meats! We sampled 3 different typed of ham. Including one that is close to $17.00 a pound! (Which I actually didn’t care for the taste of, but that is due to my dislike of orange as a flavoring for foods) I loved the texture of the ham though. Lucky Pigs get massages before they are roasted for 18 hours!
The class ran longer than Stacy had planned, but I think everyone really took a lot away from it. I look forward to getting to see Stacy again in the future. I hope that she finds a way to run her No More Carrot Sticks class on a weeknight. I would love to attend that class.
Hope you learned a little something from my shortie recap, but since there is another one of these classes coming up in March I don’t want to do a full recap and talk someone out of taking the class because I couldn’t do it a justice!