My Boyfriend and I went to an Albertson’s in the Los Feliz section of Los Angeles yesterday. As we drove home he said to me. You know being discerning about what we eat really makes it so much easier when we shop. We have had this conversation many times after shopping in different grocery type stores. We are avid label scrutinizers. We check the ingredients of all labels that we purchase. There are certain ingredients we will absolutely not buy. We will not buy or eat Genetically Modified Organisms. So, when we read a label and the item has soy, corn, canola or sugar, we go through a quick process. Is it Organic? No? Oh it has canola, put it back. quick and easy. The decision has been made. We do this through out the whole store with everything we buy. We actually have fun most of the time.
I pull the item off the shelf, after usually having to don my reading glasses ( the words are getting smaller) and I read the label out loud. Sometimes we do not know an ingredient which immediately sends a red flag, so that goes right back on the shelf too. However, sometimes we take the time to look up ingredients we are unfamiliar with on our phones to be more informed on the spot to help with our decision.
We have concluded that by being more discerning makes our whole shopping experience better and easier. We get to choose what we eat, we vote with our dollars, we support products and companies that align with our beliefs, we are healthier, happier and have fun as well.
There are whole sections of the store we can avoid because we already prefer not to eat certain foods made by big corporations that are spending millions of dollars to promote unhealthy eating or simply that we know the ingredients they use are pesticide ridden or GMO. Often these corporations have a double standard here in the US and in other countries. They use the most unhealthful ingredients here and better or fewer ingredients in other countries like in Europe. Kraft is the perfect example of this with their macaroni and cheese.
We are often amazed at how many people we encounter who complain about how difficult it is to eat better and healthier, and how difficult it is to find foods that align with doing that. By following our label reading process you can make more informed choices and support your own health, the stores that support good choices and the companies that make them.
Are we perfect? No! Do we make compromises sometimes? Yes! When we do make compromises we also make them with discernment and awareness. Do we read the same labels every time? No. We read new labels and unfamiliar labels in different stores. Now that we have a good process we are faster and more efficient.
Oh! But how can I possibly read all the labels? It is too daunting and labor intensive! What we have found through this process is it has become simpler because we can eliminate whole categories of food and whole companies that are not aligned with our beliefs or best interest.
The whole process is quite liberating knowing we have the power and the choice. As we enter the store and look around we see how easy it is because we know exactly where to go and look. We do not have to read every single label on every single item. We already know which products to check. We take responsibility for what we eat and what we buy. We trust ourselves and our own decision making process. We do not give our power away to the store or the company making the product. They do not have our best interest in mind. Only WE have our best interest in mind.
We may not always find exactly what we want in a store like Albertson’s, but in the Los Feliz area of LA we are fortunate to have some expanded choices. We also know if we do not find it there, we can always go to another store another time. We do not buy it just to have it, we buy it because we choose to have it.
Making choices to support our own health and well being is a practice. Each time we do it, we feel good and get better at discerning. It is an exercise in honoring the process of mindfulness.
I encourage everyone to start the process of being a food investigator and food particularist!
When you do, I would love to hear about your experience.
Many blessings in your investigation!