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7.24.2012

Baby Steps: Mental Block 5- It's too hard to find real food.

It seems illogical- real food is the hardest to find.  And in some ways this is only the case when you hit what I like to call the more hardcore levels of real food- when you're looking for raw milk, grassfed beef, exclusively local produce...  You can find real food at the grocery store, or better yet the health food store or organic co-op.  Here are some tips:
When I was finally able to find raw goat's milk I was so excited I took a picture of it!



At the store:
  • This gets said a lot, but stay out of the aisles at the mega-mart.  The things you want to eat mostly- meat, produce, and full fat dairy products- are all around the perimeter of the store.  Make short and succinct pit stops for things like brown rice, dried beans, and canned tomatoes.  A tip, though- stores are beginning to get wise to this tip, and are featuring more displays and end caps in and around the perimeter of the store.  Don't let them rope you (or your kids!) in!
  • Read labels.  You don't have to personally look up every single ingredient on every single label.  In fact, eating real food makes this much easier, because you shouldn't be buying many products that have ingredient labels at all, or the list should be short.  Make up your own rule here (no labels longer than 5 ingredients, nothing with fancy science-y words, whatever makes sense to you!).
  • Learn the dirty dozen and the clean 15, and buy organic as often as you can afford it.  Organic really does make a difference- not just is the produce free of chemicals, it has also been proven that organic produce is up to 60% more nutrient dense, because the soil organic food is grown in healthier.
And elsewhere:
  • Check Craigslist.  I know it can seem like a shady place to procure food, but I've found some of the best things I've eaten on Craigslist- chicken and raw goat's milk, most notably, and I have recently been pricing grass fed beef.
  • Ask around.  Get to know other people in your community who appreciate food- even if their food philosophy differs from yours. 
  • Stop ignoring the signs.  No, I mean the literal signs.  You know, those spray painted signs along the side of the road that say things like "farm fresh eggs" or "beef, 1/2's and 1/4's" or "garden fresh produce, 1/4 mile that way."  They're all over here (although I've lived all over, and I realize how lucky we have it here).
  • Look into buying clubs.  Here I belong to a buying club that bulk purchases dry goods (bulk grains and the like) and some supplements.  In CA I belonged to an organic produce buying club- it was structured a lot like a CSA in that you paid your $$$ ahead and got a box of whatever they could get, only it came from the wholesale market instead of the farm (although they did buy seasonal local produce as often as they could as well).  Meetup.com is a good place to check, or ask your local Weston A. Price chapter.
Just remember to do your best, and don't stress when you can't find exactly what you think you want.  Personally I've been looking everywhere I go for whole non-oily fish (head and all...) so I can make fish stock, but I'm striking out.  But I'm not worried- I have plenty of chicken stock, I feel good, and my kids are healthy... as long as those remain true, life is good, right?

This post has been shared at Cooking Traditional Food's Traditional Tuesdays, Real Food Forager's Fat Tuesday, Scratch Cookin' Tuesday at Granny's Vital Vittles, and Kelly the Kitchen Kop's Real Food Wednesday.

1 comment:

mrsdull said...

Love to "Stop ignoring the signs" :-) I've noticed that I do that! Lately I've been trying to pay better attention. I'd love it if you'd share this with us at Scratch Cookin' Tuesday.

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