Friday, September 3, 2010

Kindred Shopper

I have this friend.

A friend who is a recent Beaver transplant from Vermont.

She gets me when it comes to my issues with food ignorance.

Don't misunderstand the word ignorance.  I am NOT calling folks "stupid".  I am merely stating that many are uninformed about healthy ingredients when it comes to making personal food choices and feeding our families (especially our children).

One can not ignore (or should not ignore) the obesity rate in the United States.  According to the CDC, the obesity rate in Pennsylvania in 2009 was 27.4 %.  New research shows that 1 in 3 children are either overweight or obese.

Clearly, this is an issue in our country.

And this is where the word ignorance plays in.  For if you don't believe that obesity rates are a concern or important, then I would respectfully state that you are uninformed on the issue.

I rant about food.  A lot.

Chemicals.  Dyes.  High fructose corn syrup.  Artificial Sweeteners.  Growth hormones.  Antibiotics. Genetically modified junk.

I hem and haw and sometimes irritate peeps with my opinions.

But, not my friend from Vermont.  She understands.

Which is why we took all day yesterday to hike it "dahntahn" to visit Trader Joe's and Whole Foods.  Back "home" both of us had these stores readily available.  Here in Beaver?  No.  And while Giant Eagle does offer a small natural/organic area, the prices are ridiculous.  Down at TJ's and WFs we were able to get the items we wanted (can you say bag of organic pears for $2.99) for a fraction of the prices at GE.

Clean eating doesn't seem to be a priority here.  I'm not sure if this is just a choice, or, as I mentioned above, due to lack of information on the subject.

So it was nice, to shop with a friend who got excited when I marched into Whole Paycheck  Whole Foods with $75 of gift cards (a prize from my Beachbody business) with the intention of buying packs of free-range chicken to stock my basement freezer.  And a few other items.  Brown rice syrup anyone?  Yeah, that's how I rock the rice crispy treats.

Sure, we had to drive into Pittsburgh, and thus, won't be making it a weekly habit, but it was fun.  To talk keifer and organic tofu (for only $1.49), while chatting about the "dirty dozen", made for a great day.  (Even if we totally struggled to find our way out of this crazy, loopy, non-grid city.  Even my GPS was confused.)

If you would like to further your education about the foods we eat, and specifically the ingredient list on some of the products you may find in your pantry, try Fooducate.  It's a great blog, easily digestible, (sometimes food-talk can get haughty - not this blog), and the posts aren't long and drawn out.  I've learned a ton.

But, with all my learnin', I still forgot to pick up organic kale.



Amy said...

How far are you from Pittsburg? We don't have ANYTHING here in DeLand. There is one VERY small natural food store (about the size of a convenience store) but the stock is about 60% vitamins and supplements. Our nearest WF is about 45 minutes away but it, too, is SMALL. Not nearly the selection I was used to in Evanston. And, no TJs for us. Now, I don't go "all out" like some people, but there are surely some things that I would like to have (particularly meat and produce) from a store like WF. But, we do what we can and just read labels. I recently purchased a bottle of "Simply Heinz" ketchup, meaning it uses actual sugar to sweeten it, rather than HFCS. I joked to Nathan that I bet when we were kids it was just called "Heinz" and they've since changed the recipe, not the name.

Cuppa Jo said...

It took us about 45 minutes to get to TJ's and WF. They are very close to one another. I don't go all out either, but, like you, there are certain things I really want. Our grocery store chain is Giant Eagle and there is what's called a Giant Eagle Market Place, which apparently has a bigger selection of organic/"natural". I'll check that out next month.

I didn't see any organic farmers at our Saturday market today. Nothing like Evanston.

I am now from the land of Heinz. Simply Heinz is new. Came out this year. It's a sin to buy any other brand of ketchup around here!