Sunday, March 7, 2010

Better Choices One at a Time

Reading some of my fellow mom bloggers' posts, I confess I'm feeling inferior. I can't fathom spending only $350 - $400 a month on groceries AND household items, and even though I recycle and compost, others are leagues ahead of me environmentally. So here's what I've decided: it's not a contest (thank goodness, because I surely wouldn't win), and it's best to take baby steps toward making better economical, healthy, environmentally responsible choices. So here's my baby step of the week.

This week at Earthfare I picked up some Rice Select arborio rice for half off. Note: I have no affiliation with this company and this is not meant to be a company endorsement. I admit I love boxed rice mixes (that shall remain nameless) and have been cooking them for years. Plain rice is so boring and never has the texture the others have provided. But I'm trying to keep an open mind these days, and this time I was pleasantly surprised on five fronts.

1. Cost: Comparing costs of the Rice Select and my typical boxed rice, I would have to buy 5 boxes to equal this one container. Even not on sale, the Rice Select is cheaper. However, since it was on sale and I had a coupon, the cost was more than HALF that of my old favorite.

2. Health: I've always known the boxed rice was full of preservatives and the first ingredient is "enriched parboiled rice"--not so appetizing when you hear it that way. In total, there are 19 ingredients on the box; Rice Select has only one: arborio rice.

3. Local: Rice Select is grown in the USA; I have no idea where the other comes from.

4. Packaging: Though I recycle cardboard, every environmentalist knows it's better to choose products with less packaging in the first place (1 vs 5). And this container is clear and a good size for helping my husband organize things in his shop; so it will be reused and then recycled.

5. Taste: My biggest hang-up up 'til now has been taste, but I LOVED the end result. Following the instructions on the package, I sauteed some onion and cooked one cup of homemade stock at a time (3 cups total) until it absorbed. It was a little more effort than "cover and simmer" but an occasional stir did the trick. The risotto came out creamy and delicious--rivaling anything I've found in a box. I'm looking forward to trying all the other varieties. For anything you'd want to know including recipes for the 40,000 varieties of rice, click here.

My switch to a new form of rice is not a big deal, but it's a step in the right direction. What baby step have you taken this week?


  1. MMMM, I'll have to give this brand a try. I've never bought it before--you've inspired me.

  2. great meeting you in Kroger! I will try the meat pie recipie. Your blog is fabulous. You wrote that you feel "inferior" - well, in my opinion you win for your knowledge of the ways of being savvy with sharing your info via cyber space.

  3. Yes, you never know where contacts will be forged--why not the pasta aisle of Kroger? Speaking of which, I was so chatty that I think I'll need to head back to stock up on a few more boxes of Barilla since they're still on sale. I was going to make this my "no supermarket run week" but I'm getting the itch. ;-)

    Send me a link to your blog as well. And I'm sure a blog about Ergo's is in my future.I just used it to carry Brooke while consignment shopping--essential!