Food For Life

Monday, February 28, 2011

This doesn't have much to do with Body for Life, but truth be told, I have been trying to be wise about the food I buy. To care about quality, whole ingredients more than I care about cost. To care about how the food was grown, cared for (if an animal), and prepared more than I care about cost. Basically, to care about something, anything other than cost!

I buy ground beef from a local buying club. The farmer lives in Kentucky and raises his cattle in a good environment. They are not mistreated, not pumped full of hormones or antibiotics, and are killed humanely. I buy cage-free eggs, hoping for the same. I buy milk and chicken from Whole Foods, paying a little bit more for similar kinds of issues. The kinds of issues I want to value more than cost.

In addition to being mindful of the circumstances in which my food was grown and/or raised, I've also tried to just look at the ingredients on packages to see if I can pronounce them. Most of the time, I can't. And there are a LOT of them. It's a little crazy.

Now, don't get me wrong. I eat a wide variety of things that are crazy fake. Doritos (when it's my cheat day, anyway!), diet soda, and fudgesicles are a few of my favorites that I know are not even close to being natural. Even the protein meal bars I've grown to love while doing BFL have a zillion ingredients that I don't understand. So this is not a self-righteous post to tell you I'm doing it all right. Nope -- I'm doing way more wrong than right; trust me! But I'm trying.

Maybe you've never thought about what's on your label -- I didn't for the longest time. Next time you're shopping, take a peek. [You'll probably want to buy the "all natural" sour cream instead of the normal (or low fat) brand, just to give you a heads up. There are like four understandable ingredients vs. fifteen unknowns.]

I bought turkey breast at Whole Foods this week for the first time, and I don't know why it took me so long. Not only do I feel better about the turkey's life (and death), this is the ingredient comparison with what I bought at Kroger (I happened to buy Hillshire Farms this week, but I typically buy the Kroger brand):

Hillshire Farms
Turkey Breast
Contains 2% or less of the following:
Modified corn starch
Sodium Lactate
Turkey flavor {this one is funny to me!}
[maltodextrin, salt, natural flavoring]
Sodium phosphate
Sodium diacetate
Sodium ascorbate (vitamin c)
Sodium nitrate

Whole Foods
Contains 2% or less of the following:
Native potato starch
Sea salt

Also, for those of you who think it's so much more expensive to buy better ingredients, it's not always. Milk is probably the most expensive in terms of ratio, but my concern for the treatment of the cows makes it absolutely worth it to me. But the turkey from WF was only $1 more than the kind from Kroger, and isn't the bottom list SO much better than the top?

Food for thought. :)

PS: One day I'll buy a camera and write posts that contain pictures. Someday. Hopefully before 2012. The end.


Amy said...

So, where's this local buying club? I would love to get good food less expensively and locally.

Sarah Cosper said...

Look what I found tonight!

Kelly Irene said...

OMG. I hate those comparisons because then I think of the things I'm still buying that are disgusting! lol!
Did you guys get the book, Scripture Culture and Agriculture by Ellen Davis? If so, read the essay on Leviticus (ch. 6?). It will solidify this for you like nothing else. (If not, and if you're interested, I'll let you borrow mine if I ever finish).
Also, since most people don't check re-check comments, your friend Amy can email me if she wants more info on the buying club or our CSA. I don't mind if you pass on my info to her.

Chelsy said...

so proud of you:) glad to have someone a few steps ahead of me on the road to healthier living to look up to. love you sister!

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