It's been a few days since I released the FOREVER Grocery List. Have you had a chance to check it out yet? Take one look at that list, and I think you will realize that I'm WEIRD when it comes to grocery shopping. It's true, and I admit it. I'm very fine with my own weirdness in this area.
I graduated from college in the height of the recession. After turning in about 200 job applications, a family connection landed me a job as a cashier at a grocery store.
I'm picky about what I buy, because I've seen what people buy.
I really don't care if you make a million dollars a year or if you have to dump a jar of pennies on the counter to pay, BUDGETING IS IMPORTANT. It's the only way to get ahead and make your money work for you. I don't throw away money at the store; instead, I try to go in with a plan and stick to it. I'm a careful shopper, and I make sure that every dollar I spend is on nutrient-rich foods that give me my bang for my buck.
That being said, I don't always buy the cheapest or easiest option. We are all voting with our dollars, and there are some highly unethical practices that appear on grocery store shelves today.
The biggest issue has recently been cleaned up, but only just this year: we were purchasing goods made by slaves in other countries. That just baffles my mind! Another: we have been purchasing items where the farmer/rancher in another country was not fairly compensated or in an unsafe environment. So many items are available through fair trade certified route: alchohol, beans, grains, chocolate, coffee, fruits and veggies, spices, honey, nuts, sugar, tea. The products that are not fair trade certified are probably corrupt.
The last issue I am going to bring up: the average food travels 1500 miles before it lands on our plate, and that's just not ok. It's contributing to environmental issues and global warming, and consumers have no idea what they're actually putting into their bodies. I buy from local farmers and ranchers whenever possible. And know what? The quality is AMAZING! Gotta love life in Kansas!
So here are a few things that are typically not in my shopping cart.
Here's a disclaimer: I'm no nutritionist. I took one class in college, and I read, but I don't know your specific circumstances, and I'm not at all qualified to give you nutritional advice. If you have questions at all, I would advise that you speak to a medical professional.
Here are 3 things that are not in my grocery cart:
No chips, no crackers, no cookies. Or at least, very sparingly.
(1) These foods are typically high in sodium. Did you know that 90% of Americans are eating WAY TOO MUCH and it's probably killing us? These foods are also high in calories and low in actual nutritional value.
(2) These foods are EXPENSIVE. You can easily spend $20 or more and with 30 minutes of mindless eating, it's all suddenly gone. And you're hungry again an hour later.
2. Foods containing high-fructose corn syrup.
I have a fear of high-fructose corn syrup (and yes, it's different than the corn syrup you can buy in the baking aisle, btw).
While the rest of America is fretting over our new clown epidemic, the thought of high-fructose corn syrup hiding out in my kitchen cabinet watching me has my knees knocking.
It's in our juice, our soda, our breakfast cereal, our yogurt, our salad dressings, our bread, our candy, our energy snacks, our tomato sauces including ketchup, our peanut butter.
Basically, our society is consuming toxic levels of this stuff, but it's not allowed in my house.
Here's a famous, old headline for you: the U.S. could feed 800 million people with the grain that livestock eat. But, it's true. It's much more efficient to eat plants than the animals who eat plants.
I actually barely eat meat at all!
Ok, this is a bonus, because I haven't actually made my own yogurt before, but I plan to very soon!
Did you know that you can make yogurt? Apparently it's easy, but I haven't tried yet!