I’m on a mission. It’s a slow one but I’m determined to get my family on track with clean, whole foods. That doesn’t always mean shopping organic; even though this is is the easiest way to avoid GMO (genetically modified) food. If you talk to enough people at farmer’s markets and in your community, you can find clean food that is grown locally. . . you just need to ask. Once you find farmers that are proud to share their farming practices and open the door of communication of what seeds are used to grow food and if they are no-spray, etc. you can shop with produce that is ‘in season’ rather than buying really expensive organic food that is being shipped thousands of miles from where you live. This is how I purchase food for our family. If my husband goes to the traditional grocery store, he’s buying packaged food or organic produce. Where I shop, and this is the food that is slowly becoming the ‘majority’ in our house, it’s with small, local farmers or stores. I learned a great tip when I was researching honey and syrup that I wanted to share. Actually two tips:
Raw and Unpasteurized: for many products like honey much of the nutrition is lost when it’s pasteurized to sell in stores. Omega 3 fish oil is another nutritional supplement that has increased value in the fermented rather than processed fish oil that is heated. The honey you find in the supermarket has been ‘cooked’ and the beneficial enzymes have disappeared during this process. Raw or unpasteurized honey can actually sit in your pantry without being refrigerated because it acts as it’s own preservative. Did you know raw honey can be used for healing wounds because of it’s antibacterial properties? Just add a dash of honey to your next scrape and see all of the benefits!
Less than 5 Ingredients: Best tip for real food newbies like me! When looking at ingredients on packaged food, stick to two rules – you have to understand all of the ingredients and be able to pronounce them and keep ingredients to less than 5. The best example of the under 5 ingredient list was when I was researching syrup for our weekend pancakes. I snapped this photo of Aunt Jemima syrup and there are 11 ingredients listed. Very few that the average person could explain…nothing that actually looks like real food. I checked the bottle of syrup that I purchased at my local Farmer’s Market and found only one ingredient ‘maple syrup’. It’s the perfect example and also highlights the scary fact how cheap corn products (corn syrup), preservatives and dye ingredients are compared to real food. Here is the visual to confirm these ingredients..would you have guessed syrup if I showed you this label and not said what food it is?
I had a great talk with a very green mama today and she made a great point “the food that fills our kitchens and cupboards isn’t actually real food!” It’s truly sad the amount of time it takes to investigate the food in your home…but step by step it’s worth knowing. If it feels like an overwhelming task or just one more thing you don’t have time for – think about the long term health benefits. You do the research once, find people you trust to shop for food, and feel like a new chapter has started in your life.