What? Where have I been?
Oh... has it been that long?
I realize that I've been a negligent blogger. I also realize that I've been a negligent blog reader, in that there are many of you out there that I like to read about and who(m? Ifbyyes - can you help me here?) I consider friends through the blogosphere. I haven't been commenting on your blogs either. This is largely due to the fact that, because I've been trying to get control of my time, I don't always open my computer when I get home in the evening. That internetting takes up a lot of time!
And also, I've been busy giving up canned goods.
I'm pretty sure that this is way more than I should be tackling right now. And it wasn't a goal or a plan. It just sort of ... happened.
How does one give up canned goods by accident?
Accidentally, of course.
As you might have read, scientists have recently discovered that canned foods can cause levels of BPA (an endocrine disrupting chemical) in urine to rise. In general, it's not great to disrupt your body's hormones.
This finding was quite the bummer for me, because I've always thought of canning as the most innocuous form of food processing... on absolutely no authority whatsoever. The packaging is recyclable, it seemed old-fashioned, and the ingredients in canned goods tend to be conspicuously food-like.
BPA is usually found in plastics. However, those sneaky food companies have been lining their cans with a kind of plastic coating that's got BPA in it. Some brands, like Eden Organics, have been BPA-free for awhile. Others, like Muir Glen, have gone BPA-free (although there may be cans with BPA on the shelves, since the whole point of canned food is that it lasts forever. Check those labels!)
When I learned all this -- a little late to the party, I know, since a lot of the data came out in 2011 -- I just sort of shrugged and said to myself, well, I've got a slow cooker. Let's see if I can make stewed tomatoes.
The answer is yes (recipe to come). Since then, I've been using my slow cooker each week to make one staple that I usually buy canned - like black beans. I've even learned how to make refried beans, although I'm still perfecting the recipe.
I store the staples in the freezer until I need them for a recipe. And something I've realized? The canned food I've been buying all these years? It doesn't actually taste like the real thing. Canned refried beans are nothing like refried beans you make at home (they aren't even the same color!) Stewed tomatoes from the slow cooker fill your home with a delicious fragrance. While canned tomatoes? No fragrance.
I'm not one of those self-righteous types who is going to swoon upon my fainting couch and declare: henceforth no canned food shall touch my lips. I'm pretty sure that soon I will think: Damn. I want burritos. Give me that Rosarita! But I like knowing that I can live without canned food.
Although, when the zombie apocalypse comes, I'll probably starve to death.
Coming up: The recipe for those stewed tomatoes. And then a recipe for pasta USING those stewed tomatoes.