Pantry Staples Our pantry is organized to stock a limited and set amount of jars, which contain either a permanent staple or rotational staple. Permanent staples will vary from family to family. Ours include: • Flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, cornstarch, baking powder, yeast, oatmeal, coffee, dry corn, powdered sugar • Jam, butter, peanut butter, honey, mustard, canned tomatoes, pickles, olives, capers • Olive oil, vegetable oil, apple cider vinegar, wine vinegar, tamari, vanilla extract • A selection of spices and herbs Rotational staples represent groups of foods that we used to buy in many different forms. In the past, our legume collection consisted of chickpeas, lentils, peas, red beans, fava beans, pinto beans, etc. Even though stocking many types of food appears to stimulate variety, the contrary is often the case. Similar to wardrobe items, pantry favorites get picked first while nonfavorites get pushed back and forgotten, take up space, and ultimately go bad (i.e., become rancid or bug infested). Today, instead of storing many versions of a staple, we have dedicated one specific jar and adopted a system of rotation. For example, our rotating jar of grain might be filled with rice one week, couscous another. Our rotating collection includes: • Grain • Pasta • Legume • Cereal • Cookie • Nut • Sweet snack • Savory snack • Tea This system has proved not only to maintain variety in our diet and free up storage space; it has also been efficient at keeping foods from going bad.
Bea Johnson (Zero Waste Home: The Ultimate Guide to Simplifying Your Life by Reducing Your Waste)