31 Days of Finding Freedom in Simplicity - Food Clutter

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You are probably wondering how food can be clutter after clicking through to see this post.  It sounds odd, I’m sure, but if you have ever thrown away food from your pantry because it is expired, or taken out leftovers from that back of your fridge you can’t remember putting in there, you have experienced food clutter.

Several years ago I checked out a book from the library called What the World Eats and it was eye-opening to see the differences between cultures.  It also reminded me of the abundance that we have available to us.


We have the luxury of picky eaters, and managing specialty diets, whereas a lot of people in the world do not have that luxury.

We don’t have to eat seasonally, although we can if we want.  We can pick out anything from the grocery store, or we can just shop around the edges.  We have a plethora of snacks available to us, or we can go without.  But, most of us have the choice.

I have a hard time meal planning.  I love to cook, but I want to cook what I want when I feel like it, I don’t like to follow a plan – it might have something to do with falling into the rebel tendency but I also think it has to do with the amount of choice available to us.  When we can cook essentially anything we find on pinterest, how do you decide which thing to cook, when, and whether or not it will meet your family’s expectations?

In the book 7:An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess, Jen Hatmaker took a month and ate only 7 items - for the whole month.  Salt, pepper, and olive oil were allowed in moderation.  Now, can you imagine doing that?  Probably not.  And she did have the option of picking the 7 foods that she would eat for the month, which isn’t always a choice. 

What would happen if we did decrease the amount of *stuff* we turned to when we were eating.  Would that help us be healthier?  Would it make the everyday task of meal preparation easier, or more difficult? 

Most likely it would be easier for a time, but then you might get bored with what you were eating, or would you?  Would creating a habit of eating the same thing every day help you?

I’m not saying that we should all cut our diets down to only seven items.  However, taking the time to be aware of all the different foods we eat is important.

What if you could remove meal planning from your schedule because you only cooked a rotation of 14 meals, and you knew what they were?  Would your family be able to eat those 14 meals a couple of times a month without complaining?  Would it free up some room in your grocery budget so that you could put a little extra money towards debt or into savings?

The amount of money that Americans spend on food is astonishingly low compared to other parts of the world, yet we have more variety and items than all other parts of the world.  Is that better, to have all of those choices available to us?

I’m not so sure.


Would simplifying our diets give us more freedom to do things that really matter to us and make us healthier in the process?

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