Much Adieu About Processed Foods
The other day I wanted to make something to eat. I was standing in my kitchen staring in the fridge and looking at the pantry when I realized, much to my surprise, I have quite a bit of highly processed foods in my very own home!
This was shocking to me because over the past two years I have, for the most part, eliminated processed food from my diet. If it comes from a drive through window, a box, a can or a bag, it is likely I will not eat it. This lifestyle change has made a dramatic and positive impact on my health, my weight, my mood and my energy levels. Some of this stuff, like canned goods, had been in the pantry for a while, others were in with baking stuff. Some I had recently purchased, but none of it was real food. None of it was wholesome or nutritious, and there was nothing I actually wanted to eat at all. I found myself standing there in shock thinking “Why do I even have all this crap!?!”
So I decided to dispose of it, to purge my home of processed foods and (finally) get this vial and iniquitous lack of sustenance out of my home once and for all. It felt liberating to say “Adios, Ramen, Rotel and taco seasoning mix! Arrivederci, instant polenta, tomato sauce and Kraft macaroni and cheese, you give me the blue box blues! Adieu to you canned fruits and veggies, cookie, cake and muffin mix, sugar-free jello and instant pudding, too!”
When I was done, I realized there was actually quite a large quantity of this so-called “food” sitting on the table. My original intent was to throw it all in the trash. Then I thought, that’s pretty wasteful, maybe I should donate it to a food bank? But then I was even more conflicted as I wondered, is it morally right to give food I don’t personally feel is fit for human consumption away to others? Even if it meant it would provide them with a meal they might not have had otherwise? Could I honestly feel good about giving someone a bag of toxic rations? What is the right thing to do? Would it be better to break it all down dispose of the ingredients and send the containers off to the recycle bin?
I’m sincerely conflicted about this because both have a negative impact. I’m interested to hear what others think. I’m curious to hear from others, what do you think I should do?
UPDATE: I sincerely appreciate everyone’s comments and feedback. I decided to donate the food to the North Texas Food Bank because they are really short on food reserves at this time of year, and I agree that it would be better for some one to have a meal than go without even though I would personally rather go without food than eat a meal made with a bunch of processed foods.