1 – Shop the perimeter of the store
Ideally you would shop the perimeter of the grocery store to get the freshest, purest foods possible. If you are shopping in center aisles then be sure to read labels carefully. You need to look at all of the ingredients on packages and grocery items to ensure that it is something you want to purchase. Buy organic whenever possible to avoid unnecessary chemicals, pesticides, and herbicides.
2 – Can you pronounce the ingredient and do you know what it is?
Often times if you cannot pronounce an ingredient, it probably isn’t safe to eat. Many chemicals can be listed under a variety of names. If you have never heard of it, look it up. Make sure it’s a food and something safe to ingest.
3- Is the ingredient listed necessary to the foodstuff you are buying?
Ask yourself if the ingredient is something you would put in if you were making the item. If you are aware of the basic ingredients of the item and this isn’t something you would use or even have access to, then it probably isn’t the best choice to buy.
4 – Can you make the item yourself?
Why not make the item yourself so you will know exactly what ingredients you are putting in. It will probably taste better anyway, and it will allow you to use better quality and possibly even some organic ingredients. You could also see if a local deli or health food store can make it.
5 – Is there a brand with less additives you could substitute?
Check around and see if one of the other brands has less additives or even go to a health food store and see if there is a replacement that might taste just as good without the toxins. You may have to do some taste testing to find the brand you like best.
6- Can you buy it fresh (second best is frozen), rather than canned?
Its always better to get foods in the freshest form possible and if its not canned it probably won’t have as many additives, flavorings or colorings. You may even be able to get it organic! Furthermore, some items are not even mandated to be on labels because they are considered an “industry standard.” Did you know that there is propylene glycol (anti-freeze) in many known ice creams? I know I wouldn’t want to eat the same anti-freeze they put in my car…
7- Do you know the source of the food or could you find a higher nutrient quality source?
Ask questions when grocery shopping, especially with prepared items or deli items. Find out what ingredients were added, how long ago it was made and even where the ingredient came from so you can determine the nutritional quality. Some examples of questions to ask include: Are the cows grass fed or grain fed? Is it free-range, and what exactly is a free-range chicken? What are the practices of the farm? How long has the flour been on the shelf? What type of oils were used?
Courtesy of A Place To Be.