Food shopper’s shopping guide.
Here are some quick and easy tips for your food store, grocery, and market endeavors…
- Stick to the perimeter – The outer isles have the fresh, living food: Fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, dairy, eggs, and juice.
- Read the ingredient label, too! – The amount of Calories or Fat grams aren’t as important as the source of those Calories or Fat grams. Less is more… and try to stick to foods that contain legible ingredients. Also, the ingredient “Natural Flavors” can be code for 25+ ingredients that companies legally don’t have to list.
- Know the delivery schedule – The longer food sits, the less nutritious it becomes (fruits, veggies, and meats slowly start to lose their nutritional value 4-5 after picking, harvesting, etc.). This won’t make you a food nazi – it’s just good to know that you’re eating fresh food and not week-oldies.
- Schedule your visits – Get a feel for your eating habits, work/school schedule, social schedule, food/grocery delivery schedule, and pencil in time for a weekly (or bi-weekly) grocery trip. This way you won’t run out of food and you’ll always have fresh food at your disposal.
- Go Organic or Local – Organics can have up to 60% more nutritional value than commercially-raised foods and Organics are treated/sprayed with fewer (if not none) harsh chemicals/toxins. Local products will encourage a fresher product and you’ll support your community (plus, locals can be Organic and have a much cheaper price tag because of the reduced transport distance).
- Buy in bulk – Packaged items such as Water, Cane Sugar Soda/Sports Drinks, Juice, Dry Fruit, Nuts, Seeds, Snack Bars, Protein Powder, Rice, Sauces, Spices, Condiments, etc. are always good to have around.
- Avoid plastics and cans when possible – Plastics can leech phytoestrogens or BPA into the contained food (or liquid) when sitting for a long period of time or if the plastic is exposed to heat/sun light. Cans may contain trace amounts of heavy metals and also BPA. Purchasing glass-contained items can ensure that the item’s shelf-life doesn’t have any unwanted guests.
- Check out the local hot-spots – LocalHarvest.com and EatWild.com are two sites that are loaded with local (by map) resources from Co-ops to Farmer’s Markets to Organic Farms to Delicious Organic Eateries.
- Walk to the store or park far away – Get some extra movement in when ya can!