Kitchn Cure: Week Two! Checking in...

DixieMedley, who got rid of the above items from her kitchen, says "I rounded up everything with MSG or high fructose corn syrup and realized that I don't actually use ANY of this stuff, anyway. When was the last time I used pasta sauce from a jar? Don't know, but it had been so long that I tossed the nearly-full jar from my fridge last week. Of this, I'll miss the maple syrup the most."

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Hey Cure-takers, how is Week Two going? Things got heated when I asked you to pitch your processed foods, and then wrote a post about what, exactly, are processed foods.

The reason I wanted you to pitch (or compost or donate) the worst of your processed foods is out of an ardent belief that it will help you get a few steps closer back to the source of your food, rather than continuing to divorce yourself from it. So the line isn't drawn in concrete: of course not all canned foods are evil, for example. I have canned and frozen foods in my kitchen. However, for me, the line does get more stringent when it comes to artificial ingredients.

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Thats Swell says "I have WAY too many sprinkles, etc. for making cupcakes (my favorite). And at first I was reluctant to get rid of them, because I didn't want to just throw them out. Then I realized I could Freecycle them! These are all items waiting to be Freecycled."

There was also an issue brought up about the economy and the cost of food. I'll use the grape jelly example. Say you love grape jelly and you eat it every day, but when you looked at the label of your grape jelly, you noticed that it had high fructose corn syrup in it. High Fructose Corn Syrup is a highly processed sweetener with all kinds of health issues associated with it. So the point of this exercise was to understand what you have in your fridge and make a move toward change. That could mean everything from finishing that jar (after wiping it clean!) and buying a different brand next time made with sugar to pitching it (or donating it, or Freecycling it) right away and starting fresh with something more wholesome.

The point was to open your fridge and cupboards and read ingredients. Get to know your foods and think about where you'd like to make some changes.

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This is rsun78's giveaway box. That isn't the only George Foreman Grill we've seen in Kitchn Cure outboxes!

You're also cleaning out junk drawers and wiping everything down. You might even be culling through your appliances and other supplies and paring down to what you really need.

You are, all 300 of you, doing an amazing job. Congratulations! If you haven't finished the assignments for this week, please give it your best shot. You need a clean slate because starting on Thursday when the Week Three assignment is posted, we'll start cooking. You're ready!

A few reminders:

• Upload your before and after photos to our Kitchn Cure Flickr page, making sure to label them with what they feature and whether it is "before," "during," or "after." There are over 500 photos and growing every day!

• Each week's assignment is given on Thursday, with related posts throughout the week (look for Kitchn Cure in the post title). We do a check-in on Tuesdays.

• Leave comments, questions and tips in the comment section. If you have a private question, email us.

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2008, The Kitchn Cure

Sara Kate is the founding editor of The Kitchn. She co-founded the site in 2005 and has since written three cookbooks. She is most recently the co-author of The Kitchn Cookbook, to be published in October 2014 by Clarkson Potter.

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