The best natural food --
when you can’t buy organic
Try natural food alternatives to
maximize your options, and
keep moving the right direction!
LET'S TALK ABOUT:
getting the most for your organic dollar
finding the safest conventionally raised food in your area
learning where the coops, farmers' markets, and other independent food growers are in your community
locating grass-fed beef, local eggs, free-range chicken, wild honey, and goat's milk, or cow's milk
Buying organic food locally is fine, if you can get it year-round, and can afford it. But in a lot of places, like our area of Kentucky, many people feel lucky to afford enough food of any kind. Organic food isn’t that available, unless you raise it.
So let’s talk about buying the best natural food in the supermarket, where most of us shop. Did you ever think that you can probably make a considerable improvement to your family’s health, even if you never buy anything organic?
How? By educating yourself and adopting buying methods that exclude all but basic foods. It can even save time, energy and sometimes money -- there is so much non-essential food in the stores, you’ll find yourself skipping whole aisles!
Besides the nutritional factor, organic food almost always has superior flavor, so buy what you can. But there are exceptions. If the crop went through serious stress, like drought, or couldn’t be gotten to market quickly enough, any crop, organic or conventional, may be inferior in taste and quality.
For example, every spring we sample organic grapefruit, but it’s been so sour recently that we’ve reverted to buying the Texas Sweet conventional brand, because it doesn’t turn us inside-out. Other competing commercial brands from California and Florida aren’t as good – just Texas Sweet. This may be just our luck. We don’t know the specific reason -- maybe Texas has had a lot of rain in the last couple of years, or they may pick the fruit riper before they ship. It could even be that their grapefruit is coming from a new citrus orchard, with its soil not worn-out yet.
In spite of drawbacks, progress is definitely being made in the availability of natural food. I remember, several years ago, when McDonalds was forced to change a major food supplier to meet customers’ demands for a salad bar. (When I first heard this, I thought, okay, that’s a change for the better, but then it hit me: Why did customers expect to find nutritious food there in the first place -- don’t you go there when something in you snaps, and you WANT a hamburger?)
Walmart, Kroger, Shop‘n’Save, Safeway, and Winn Dixie are good examples of modern supermarkets who have seen the organic signs of the times. Walmart is usually the cheapest, and provides a lot of choices, including an increasing line of organic food. And Kroger is doing a really superb job of expanding organic and natural food selections.
Many big chains are personable and customer-service-oriented, but while this is pleasant and useful, we have to keep in mind that it is a business. They are there to make money. Bottom line: they stock what we buy. It is up to us to quality-control the process, to get the best nutrition for the money. What we won’t buy, they won’t stock -- it’s just like voting. So we need to educate ourselves and learn to separate advertising hype from the real value of the natural food we buy.
We all know what suits our convenience. Most of us know what junk food is, and probably what processed food is. But that doesn’t do us much good, unless we take control and strive to make changes that will move us closer to a natural life. Convenience foods are not usually healthy food. (Low carbs are not enough!)
And while pizza delivered to your door is wonderful, in one sense, it gives you no control over the ingredients. (Exceptions to this are health food restaurants, who have take-out or deliver for a price.)
Preparing more of your own meals with whole foods may take longer, but it will help build natural health and protect your family from many diseases such as diabetes, premature arthritis, cancer, and others. And with a little planning, there really are ways to keep it quick and easy!
Unfortunately, many of us are living in the fast lane. But if you find yourself continually rushed off your feet spiritually, mentally, emotionally, or physically, and your lifestyle won’t let you move in the right direction, it may be that you need to change that lifestyle. We'll talk more about that, later.
Now for the nitty-gritty –
getting the healthiest food you can!
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