Sunday, January 31, 2010
lunch a la carte
People make fun of the way Mrs. Roy takes lunch to work. One friend told me that she just loved to see me open my lunch bag and see how many little containers I would pull out each day. And yes, I use up all the little condiment packages that seem to accumulate at home and work. Yes, I use plastic utensils, which I put back in my lunchbox and wash when I get home. Yes, I use divided plates and create my own "Lean Cuisine" from last night's dinner. Yes, I even have square boxes so that I don't have to use plastic wrap to keep my sandwiches fresh.
The lunch stuff started years and years ago. It actually began with my kids wanting to take their lunches to school. That's back when people were becoming aware of waste in all new ways and all these little containers started showing up on the market. The trick was getting my kids to bring home the containers while leaving the trash at school. It was also a lot cheaper for me to buy family size chips, etc., and put a serving in a plastic container for them instead of individual packaging. Now that it's just me, I sometimes buy the individual packaging and try to recycle what I can. Mrs. Roy may be crazy but I'm not a maniac!
Anyway, after the kids started taking their lunches, I started taking my lunch more often and I found that it was better to assemble some things at lunchtime than in the morning - to keep stuff from getting soggy. It also helped me be able to pack lunches the night before, ie. the leftovers from dinner. If I just pack my lunch as I'm cleaning up the kitchen, sometimes there aren't any other leftovers to deal with.
I have also found it simple to put soup or other things that freeze well directly into their lunch containers and then into the freezer. When I want to take it for lunch, I just take it out of the freezer and into the fridge the night before, into my lunchbag in the morning and it's pretty much thawed and ready to heat up by lunchtime.
So call me weird but I have really good lunches when other folks are eating stuff that isn't good for them and these containers paid for themselves years ago. Plus I know I'm not creating trash. Plus I know I'm making people think about their lunches because they make fun of me which tells me I've made them uncomfortable on some level. I sleep fine at night, thank you, so laugh all you want.
This is another area of my life where my commitment to God, conservation and our family's economics have all merged into one. God wants me to be a good steward and taking my lunch is one way I can do that - I am being good to the planet and good to my checkbook and good to my body all at the same time.
Nowadays I read about people being concerned about using plastics for food storage and they suggest we start over and get metal or glass. I'm not jumping on that bandwagon. I think that's a bridge too far.