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:
- Is this food organic? If not, would it be far superior if it were organic?
- 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?
- Is this food made with or out of animal products? If so, how were the animals raised and what were they fed?
- Is this food GMO free? Certified humane? Fair trade?
- 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?
- Will this food fit in my “sugar budget” and/or help me reach my protein goals for the day?
- 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.