Shopping Healthy At the Grocery Store
- Organic instead of conventional.
- Organic frozen or conventionally grown frozen instead of conventionally grown fresh.
- Local instead of imported.
- Fresh products from countries that are closest to you (Mexico and Canada are Ok).
- Organic fruits and vegetables in season.
- Local Farmers Market products if available. Most conventionally grown products, from local/small farms, contain fewer pesticides and are fresher, tastier and healthier than products from big chain grocery stores.
My favorite places to shop for food are: Santa Monica Farmers Market (Wednesday), Co-opportunity (15th Street and Broadway, Santa Monica), Trader Joe's, and Whole Foods.
Avoid products with multiple countries of origin (example: meat from Canada and Australia; or food grown in one country then processed and packaged in another).
Avoid everything from China, even organic products (product tampering is a frequent problem).
Organic food can legally contain up to 5% non organic(synthetic ingredients). Pay attention to ingredients. If you don't recognize an additive, don't buy the product.
Ask a store manager to contact the company and find out about the ingredients you don't recognize. What is it for and how was the ingredient derived? The more you ask about the product, the more food industry will be willing to change the way they manufacture. The industry is competitive and wants to have your business.
Pay attention to the labels. Look for product origin, manufacturer and distributor. Spend time investigating the products you like and use frequently.
Check the label of your favorite product at least once every three months. Often new, less healthy ingredients have been added. If new, unhealthy ingredients (example: carrageenan, inverted sugar) are listed, make sure that market manager knows that you are not happy with the change.
Think about it!!!
If 5% of consumers change the way they eat and shop, the industry will be forced to change.