A while back, as I was rambling on about food while visiting my family, my brother-in-law said to me, “I’d love to be in your head when you are grocery shopping!”

Truly, anyone who spends any bit of time around me knows that I tend to think a lot about the foods I buy and put in my body.

It’s true what they say . . . you are what you eat!

Just the other day at the baseball game, for example, I spent a good 15 minutes wandering around the stadium looking for the best options, and another 5 minutes in line having a moral dilemma with myself as to whether or not I could be okay with eating pork that was not humanely raised, just for tonight.

I’m not saying I’m always perfect, or that I never eat foods that I know aren’t good for me (or the planet).  But, in general, I do make a conscious effort to make the best available decisions.

And I believe there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being selective about the foods we choose to put in our bodies. In fact, there’s so many nutritionally devoid “food-like” options available these days that I might argue, if you are not considered “picky” (or a bit of a food snob) by most people’s standards, you probably aren’t being selective enough!

Below are some of the questions I ask myself when I am shopping:

  1. Is this food organic? If not, would it be far superior if it were organic?
  2. What are the ingredients in this food? Can I pronounce them, do I know what they are, and would I cook with them on my own?
  3. Is this food made with or out of animal products? If so, how were the animals raised and what were they fed?
  4. Is this food GMO free? Certified humane? Fair trade?
  5. If the food has a label, what is the sugar, protein, fat, and fiber content for a serving of this food? And how many servings am I likely to eat?
  6. Will this food fit in my “sugar budget” and/or help me reach my protein goals for the day?
  7. How much does this food cost? Does it fit in my monetary budget?

Even though it might take a while to get used to considering these questions while shopping, I find that they are all very useful in locating and buying more healthful, not to mention more environmentally and socially conscious, foods.

And now, just for fun, a little taste of what it’s like to be inside my head while I’m shopping for dessert . . .