What is in your grocery cart?

As someone who loves the concept of the homesteading life, it matter a lot to me what food I buy, what food I cook and serve my family and what is in it. As I was shopping this week, I thought: “Wouldn’t it be a great project to attempt to weed out the processed foods still in my diet and blog about it?” So, here I am. First of all, I have friends who are extremely educated about what is healthy and what is not, and they buy only organic or only locally grown. I admire these folks tremendously, but at this point in my life I cannot shop that way for two reasons: finances and children. Priorities being what they are, that cannot be on the top of this year’s list. Maybe you can relate.

As many of you know, I have two boys with food allergies. Even the organic or “natural” things may still not be safe for them. So, in order to make sure they have a healthy, well balanced diet, as well as a variety of snacks to choose from, I sometimes have to buy regular ‘ole snacks – for me SAFETY is the most important issue, moreso than organic or not.

Financially speaking, buying 100 % organic is costly. Driving 20 minutes to the Whole Foods store versus 5 minutes to Price Chopper makes a difference too. So, while I try to buy organic with the worst offenders, I often buy what they call conventionally grown fruits and vegetables.

All that being said, my goal is to, over the next few blog entries, talk to you about processed foods, what is in your pantry and how you can make healthier choices!

Here are the so called healthy things from my shopping trip this week.

I say so called because as we will learn, not everything in this picture is ‘healthy.’

Apples, bananas, grapes and broccoli are healthy fruits and vegetables right? Well, yes, but, where did they come from and how were they grown? It’s been hard to change my mindset from “Gee, an apple is healthy,” to “where did it come from? How was it grown?”

Like I said, sometimes I buy conventional fruits and veggies and these are just that. So, we are getting the fiber, potassium, Vitamin C, etc from these beautiful babies, but we could potentially get more of all of that if I could purchase organic or locally grown.

Mozzarella is a white, soft cheese. Because it is white it does not have something called annato in it. Annato is a natural colorant used in MANY cheeses and other items that need to be colored orange or yellow.  WE avoid annato because there is a connection between it and allergies. The sliced cheese on the other hand is your average grilled cheese-cheese. Look closely. It is called a “cheese product.” Do you know what that means? Hmmm.

Ham. My kids like it alot.  The one pictured here has NITRATES AND SULFITES in it.  I shopped this week at PriceRite (a store like Aldi’s) and my selection was limited.  My number one brand is COLEMAN’s and if you can find it on the shelves buy it. But there are others that do not have sulfites and nitrates in it as well.

Chicken.  Pictured are two cornish game hens.  Cheap at PriceRite, packaged in two.  Not a well known organic or natural brand, but cheap. 

So, as you can see, I have a ways to go and this is the HEALTHY stuff!  Remember, just because it is organic does not mean that it is automatically the better choice.  But, it certainly helps.

Next post we will discuss the definition of organic and all-natural and the “not” healthy stuff on my shopping list.

Jenny

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2 thoughts on “What is in your grocery cart?

  1. This is a constant struggle for me/us and I'm so looking forward to hearing more of your thoughts and experiences! There's a locally owned market near us that carries only organic produce and no products with high fructose corn syrup, treats its workers well (I used to work at a nearby location), and uses wind power. And we can never do a week of grocery shopping there in under $150! So we buy what we can at the wholesale club, but just try to pay attention to labels. I have to remind myself that we just do the best we can with the resources we have 🙂

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