organic/natural food

Wow!  It is amazing how severely one’s blog readership drops off when one does not post for a few days.  I guess in the blogosphere, not posting for a week is like not writing for a year in a print-based publication.

Anyway, while my husband and I were shopping for groceries yesterday at Whole Foods Market, I decided I should write a post about organic/natural food… or what I have come to call “real” food.

Shortly after I started the Atkins diet in 2004, my husband suggested that we should start shopping at Whole Foods.  I had been in there a few times, and was always fascinated with the quality of the produce, the exotic-sounding products, and so on, but had never seriously considered doing my grocery shopping there.  After we started, however, I realized that I could never look at a conventional grocery store the same way again.

Yes, there is a reason that Whole Foods has been given the name “Whole Paycheck”… it seems expensive.  We also have a store called Central Market here in Texas, which is nothing but an embarrassment of food riches.  But after I started comparing their prices with prices of the same items at my local “regular” grocery store, I found the “regular” store to be more expensive.

You won’t find products with trans fats or high fructose corn syrup in these stores.  This is good for you!  As we’re in the process of losing weight, we need food with real nutrients.  If we eat foods with real nutrients, we will eat less, consume fewer calories, and lose more weight.  One reason we overeat is because we eat too many foods with nutrition-less calories, which makes us hungrier in the long run, causing us to eat more and more.

I’ve found a more centered sense of well-being by shopping at organic/natural food stores, too.  These markets just smell good and feel healthy when you walk into them.  It’s hard to feel centered when you walk into a grocery store and are greeted by 20-foot high Coke displays and 10-foot high Twinkies displays, even if you don’t buy them.

As I’ve tried variations on the basic low-carb way of eating throughout my weight loss journey, I’ve discovered through my research various nutritional supplements thought to be helpful with weight loss and overall health.  These stores have every supplement you could possibly need and more.

Lately, I have been reading about a general trend toward an increased demand for organic foods.  This is a good thing, in my opinion.  It encourages farmers, ranchers, etc., to not inject their animals with hormones, treat their crops with dangerous chemicals, and so on, which means an increase in the quality of our food supply for us all.  Whole Foods has been criticized as a “big box” retailer no better than Walmart, but I say, “so what?” I have no problem with shopping at a “big box” that pays its workers a decent wage and offers high-quality products.

Your thinking now might be, “Sounds great, but I can’t afford it!”  This is certainly a concern for many of us.  Actually, my husband and I have found that we really don’t spend much more money now than we did when we shopped at Walmart, possibly because we’ve cut out all the junk food.  We have decided that buying high-quality food is a top financial priority, only second to paying our monthly bills.   Our bodies, and our long-term health, deserve nothing less.

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4 comments so far

  1. Jason on

    I’ve figured that we spend maybe 20%-30% more on groceries than before. When we’d shop at Wal-Mart, it wouldn’t be unusual to spend $100-$120 primarily on groceries. At Whole Foods or Central Market, the bill can range from $150-$170 (maybe near $200 for weeks where we get “health and beauty” products).

    Putting it all in perspective, you might end up spending $100-$150 more per month on weekly grocery visits. I know that sounds like a lot, but the net gain is substantial. For anyone who still thinks of organic foods as consisting of a bowl of yeast, current offerings consist of practically anything you can find in conventional stores (which are getting their own organic sections as well).

    Overall, organic food lacks additives found in non-organic food, and it just plain tastes better. If you want an occasional treat, organic “junk food” is the way to go. It tastes better, and they tend to have lower fat contents than their non-organic counterparts. (Snack foods, such as chips, are a perfect example.) Also, Whole Foods is expanding the scope of its store brand, so you can stock up on organic food at reasonable prices.

    I will echo the sentiment that the mainstreaming of organic products is not a bad thing. Purists probably worry that their “alternative” lifestyles are being encroached upon by the hoi polloi, especially with Whole Foods seeming more like a “big box” store a la Wal-Mart (never mind that Wal-Mart has thousands of stores, while Whole Foods has just shy of 200). However, it seems heartening that more people want to have better food while minimizing the negative impact on the planet… and maybe saving them from extremely costly health problems later on.

  2. southernfriedfatty on

    We just got a Whole Foods in my area. The first one in Alabama I think. It is heaven and it is right by my office so I can go by after work without it being to much of a pain. My husband and I could spend a whole day there. Depending on what you buy, the prices are not that bad. They have their “store brand” items that are very well priced if you are comparing to the equal name brand. I could go on and on. I LOVE IT!

  3. southernfriedfatty on

    I miss you. Hope things are OK!

  4. unleash on

    Unleash says : I absolutely agree with this !


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