Questions I ask myself in the grocery store
Why is there so much packaging on this?
Where is this from?
Is this in season?
What's in season?
How far did that have to travel to get here?
Will I actually eat all of this?
Is this going to get too ripe before I eat it?
Could I find this cheaper somewhere else?
Can I just make this myself?
What the hell is this?
How I try to Shop
Don't get caught up in buzzwords
Local, Organic, Sustainable, Sugar free, BPA Free, Family owned, Superfood, Gluten Free, Paelo, Keto, Farm Fresh, Natural etc....
It’s a shame that so many of these words have lost their meaning. Don't get caught up in buzzwords! There isn't a right way to shop, prepare food or eat. I like to use these words as a guide (not a rulebook!) towards making THOUGHTFUL decisions when it comes to food, but I do not let these words dictate what I eat.
Recently I was faced with the challenge of either buying organic corn wrapped in plastic wrap or conventional corn sold in their husks (plastic free). I chose to go plastic free and eat the conventional corn. What might you have done in this situation? There's no one right answer!
Don't forget your reusable bags!
If your grocery store has a bulk section, you can bring cloth bags and jars.
Stop using plastic bags in the produce section! So many people have touched your food before it gets to the grocery store, so it’s important to always wash it. Produce touching your shopping cart won't hurt you or the food!
Community Supported Agriculture is a system where customers make an upfront investment to receive beautiful boxes of produce throughout their season. My CSA challenges me to eat more vegetables, use produce I might not be used to and it helps me feel a little more connected to my local food system.
Support local farmers!
I feel so connected to the local food system whenever I go to a Farmers Market, whether it be my local market or a city I'm visiting. Yes, Farmers Markets can be expensive but I love to buy myself a local snack and admire the produce.
Food Cooperatives are grocery stores with members who have purchased memberships and/or work shifts in the grocery store.
The Onion River Co-op also known as City Market was my first co-op / love in Burlington, VT. For 15 dollars a year members received deals on certain products, are included in a vibrant community around food, and are given a Patronage Refund in profitable years.
Food Co-ops are all a little different and people join them for different reasons. My Co-op experience made me feel like I had a say in how I grocery shopped and a connection to a local food system unlike one I've ever had.
Support local farmers!
There is a lot of disagreement over the consumption of meat. This is how I try to responsibly source meat.
I buy most of my meat from a local butcher shop that only sources their meat from New York State. When I ask for pig cheek they bring out the pigs head and carve off the cheek.
Always think about how the animal was treated throughout their lives. Cows should eat grass, not grain. Chickens should run free, not live in enclosed spaces. Pigs should have space to flop around in the mud, not be forced into cages. I prefer to buy my meat from smaller farms at the farmers markets or specialty butchers.
Buying responsible meat is significantly more expensive but it makes a huge impact on the environment. I chose to eat less meat but buy the good stuff.
I love dairy, so much.
I buy organic whole fat milk with no additives. #eatwholefatdairy
Think outside of the box with dairy! Eat dairy from cows, but also try other types of milks like buffalo and goat. Eat cheese from certain regions, but also eat local cheese. Almost every culture has their cheese and cheese making is an art that should be appreciated.
Try to stay away from pre-shredded cheese because it usually has added ingredients to prevent it from clumping.
Basic Cheese Board Outline:
· Hard-sharp cheese (Maybe Aged) (Cow or Goat)
· Soft cheese (maybe stinky) (name 1 person who doesn't like warm brie)
· Classic Goat (duh)
· Mozzarella and/ or Burrata (duh)