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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Nutrition Goals

Nutrition Goal #1- bye bye conventional sugar

For the last few years, we've only used organic evaporated cane sugar but I know it's still not ideal. We are making the switch to rapadura/sucanat (pure evaporated cane sugar with molasses still in the crystals), agave (which we've also been using for years), local honey (also not new), and stevia. The kids enjoy a sweetener on their breakfast cereals, rice, and oatmeal. For this purpose, I like Sun Crystals. I give each child a packet with their breakfast cereal. This way, I'm in control of portion size and they are still getting a bit of sweetness. The kids really enjoy being in control of their own packets. Sun Crystals are a combination of stevia and cane sugar, with 5 calories per packet. Once packet is equal to the sweetness of one tablespoon of sugar. The sugar switch may cost a bit more. I currently can purchase organic evaporated cane sugar for about $1.00/lb. Sucanat runs about $1.63lb for organic in 50lb bags or $1.02lb for conventional.

Nutrition Goal #2- bye bye soda pop and juice

This is the hard one for me. I have an addiction to Coca-Cola. Hubs is addicted to Mt. Dew and Rockstar. I know that there is no way I can get him to give those up 100% (unless he suddenly has an awakening), but I'm working on getting these nasties out of my diet completely. The children already consume almost no soda.

In order to fully accomplish this, I'll be starting water kefir. This way, we can enjoy a fizzy beverage while improving our health. I will also limit fruit juice to kefir juice.

Nutrition Goal #3- 100% local, grassfed, hormone free, antibiotic free meat

This one isn't hard to do, but it can get pricey! We already opt for organic foods in all other areas of our diet. The only thing holding us back in the meat department has been the cost. I opt for all natural, whole meats all the time, with organic as frequently as possible. In order to reach our 100% goal, we are using a portion of our tax return to buy 1/2 cow from a local farm. This will run us about $3.00/lb (approx output annually= $1000).

We are also working with local farms to purchase fryer chickens. Ideally, I'd like to have about 24 chickens. This will allow us to have fryer chicken 2x a month followed by soup made from the stock another 2x a month. The problem right now is that the local chickens I'm finding are about $20.00 each! I can purchase organic chicken at Costco for $10.00 each, but they aren't local and I don't know the farmers. (Annual output, $240-$480)

We are also planning to purchase 100lbs of tuna in August ($300-400). I will then can the tuna and we will enjoy it over the following year.

Hubs would like to purchase some local buffalo as well. Since it's a bit pricier, at around $4.00/lb, we will buy 100 lbs. Most of which we will make into sausage.

All of the meat purchases are staggered throughout the year, so that they will need replenished at different times (and adhering to slaughter/catch schedules). This will allow us to have a variety of healthy meats throughout the year. The farthest farm from us where we will purchase these meats is 60 miles. I'm fairly certain that this amount of meat will last us much longer than a year, as I try to limit our main meal to 1 lb and we don't generally consume meat during breakfast or lunch, except on occasional weekends. Obviously, our annual cost goes down if we don't consume all this in a 12 month period.

Annual cost = $2040-$2280 (or $170-$190/monthly) (approx 625 lbs at $3.26-$3.65lb)

$1000/beef, Feb/March (300-350lbs)
$240-480/chickens, May (24 fryers, approx 3 lbs each)
$400/tuna, August (100 lbs)
$400/buffalo, October (100 lbs)

Nutrition Goal #4- Grinding my own wheat

We already use whole wheat flour, a combination of hard red and white wheat. I soak a lot of our grains, but not 100% yet. This year, I intend to purchase a Blendtec Kitchen Mill ($179.00). Currently, I spend about $3.50 (.70/lb) - $5.49 ($1.10/lb) per 5 lb bag of organic flour. I can buy Organic hard white wheat berries from Azure Standard in a 50 lb bag for $23.90 (or .49 cents per lb). This is a cost savings of at least .21 cents per pound. According to these prices, it will take about 18 bags of hard white wheat berries to make up the cost of the grain mill. That will take our family about 15-18 months. After that, we will be saving about $10 per 50 lbs of wheat. The motivation is more of a health benefit versus cost savings, but we will reap rewards in both areas!

Longer term goals include growing the majority of our own fruits and vegetables. This year, I'd like to grow 100% for the 3-4 outdoor growing season. We will still have to do u pick from local spray free farms for much of our canning and freezing fruit needs for the winter. I'd also like to raise chickens, however since we are living in town temporarily, we can't. Our city has regulations that doesn't allow agriculture animals, including chickens. Eventually we also want to keep bees, goats, and cows.

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