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Sustainable Meal Prep

As a teacher, I found eating fresh healthy meals and maintaining a 60-hour week was like a partnership doomed to fail.  I’ve tried a number of things, such as eating school lunch (healthy but tasteless) or meal-prepping.  But I soon discovered that if I prepared my meals on Sunday, by Wednesday, most of my vegetables smelled as good as a class full of teenage kids after PE class.  

I’ve also tried meal prep services such as HelloFresh, or buying a week’s worth of frozen meals from the market. However, it wasn’t a sustainable solution given my budget and the amount of packaging being used.  More often than not, I dipped into the stash of cup noodles stored in my classroom for emergencies.  I might have had more emergencies than was healthy for me.   

But one Christmas, a friend on the quest convert everyone to a more sustainable, environmentally lifestyle gave me silicone sealer bags, and those bags were a game changer.  I learned to pre-cut all of my fruits and vegetables, then portioned them into the bags; during the week, I could very quickly take them out and cook a fast meal.  I could even freeze them so that the food did not go to waste, a common problem for a single person shopping in stores that packaged for families.  

This was the perfect solution to all of my problems.  I was finally able to meal prep with very little time, only once or twice a week.  My emergency noodle stash stayed right where they were: safe and intact.  I ate fresh food rather than smelly, wilted vegetables.  And I could reduce food and packaging waste, setting a good example for my students.  I think these silicone bags and I will have a long and lasting relationship.