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.