How to shop for healthy food

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Here are some random tips on how to shop / eat well.

Buying food is complicated because “organic” usually costs more and people wonder if it’s worth the extra cost. In most cases it is. Not all “organic” foods are equal. Processed, organic packaged “food” and organic food from large “industrial organic” farms (example: Earthbound Farms, Driscolls) typically seem to be doing the bare minimum to pass Organic certification in order to charge a higher price.

  • Buy organic produce whenever possible.
  • Buy from farmers markets or directly from a farmer whenever possible.
  • Shop at a local food co-op if one is near by.
  • Avoid food that comes in a package.
  • Adopt a vegetarian diet. If you must eat meat get it from local “free-range” / “grass fed” sources. Avoid grain fed meat.

In the supermarket scan ingredient labels; Look for and avoid the following:

  • High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Corn Syrup
  • Basically any sort of corn or corn by-product that is not organic.
  • Non-organic corn, soy, cotton and canola (and their oils). These will most likely be GMO and should be avoided because they are heavily processed, sprayed with pesticides and herbicides (RoundUp) and heavily subsidized by the government (paid for by you through taxes to multinational corporations like Monsanto, Cargill etc).
  • Maltodexterin
  • MSG (mono sodium glutamate)
  • Partially hydrogenated or hydrolyzed anything
  • artificial colors
  • sweeteners, aspartame (now “Aminosweet”)
  • preservatives
  • added sugar

And the list could go on but these are some basic rules I use when shopping.

In sum, buy mostly fresh foods that do not require packaging, bulk foods like rice, beans, flour, oats, pasta.

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