Introduction: the Meal Without Plastic Challenge

Introduction: the Meal Without Plastic Challenge

Observing the quantity of food and beverage garbage on our streets and in our waterways has been a bit eye opening, so I decided to channel that anxiety into a creative challenge: make a meal with (little) or no plastic packaging.

It's harder than it sounds, trust me! Your grocery store is a sea of plastic in and of itself, including the produce aisle. While this might make sense in the meat/seafood section, where that thin plastic layer is all that stands between you and parasites or salmonella, your cauliflower and white onion is not quite so deadly, y'all. We as a society need to CALM DOWN. 

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We as a society need to CALM DOWN. 

   

I'm super excited to share that a number of foodie gurus have accepted this challenge, and I can't wait to share their tasty, eco-friendly recipes with you! (As a reminder, food-grade plastic becomes degraded in the recycling process, and is mostly reused for other, lower quality uses. That means most food-related plastic items you pick up are brand new plastic items in our global eco-system, guys. And there are plastic fibers found in 94% of US tap water. Think about that when you grab a glass next.) 

But what sort of wanna-be hippie would I be if I didn't take the challenge myself?! It wasn't easy, but I've got my first delicious, 100% plastic packaging free recipe for Stuffed Bell Peppers for you in the link below! 

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The first obstacle? I'm not a chef.

At all. Not in the slightest.

The first obstacle? I'm not a chef. At all. I love food, but I'm super neurotic about cooking meat, I don't know how to use a grill, and I set a muffin on fire in a microwave as a teenager on accident. 

Second obstacle? Finding ingredients packaged without plastic. It's so incredibly pervasive in our culture. I for sure got some weird looks loading my cart up with produce not swaddled in individual plastic bags. THAT'S RIGHT, I'VE GONE ROGUE! I LET MY PEPPERS TOUCH MY ONIONS IN MY GROCERY CART. MADNESS.

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I discovered that virtually every brand of olive oil - even if it's a glass bottle with a foil lid - contains a plastic piece designed to keep you from over pouring.

And then, once I thought I had nailed everything down, I discovered that virtually every brand of olive oil - even if it's a glass bottle with a foil lid - contains a plastic piece designed to keep you from over pouring. So excuse the olive oil in the opening shot; it didn't actually make the cut. Don't get me wrong: any reduction of plastic packaging in a recipe is a HUGE SUCCESS and the point of this challenge, but I really wanted to prove it could be done for my first recipe. Even then, it was only 100% plastic-free with the help of a friend's herb garden.

Speaking of which, to anyone considering taking the challenge: feel free to get creative! How you achieve a plastic-free meal is up to you, just make it a good story if you're going to get arrested. 

Rosie over at A Green and Rosie Life did a post on her adventure grocery shopping to avoid plastic, and that's a great window into a greener mindset! Check it out!

And finally, it would be plagiarism to pretend I didn't modify a recipe I've been meaning to try off Epicurious for a minute now. But scroll down for the link for both my first Meal Without Plastic Challenge (and here's the link to the unmodified Epicurious recipe)! 

    

   

Summer Veggie Stuffed Bell Peppers

Summer Veggie Stuffed Bell Peppers

What's Up, West Trashley?

What's Up, West Trashley?