First off, I’d like to give a shout out to my friend Danielle, who is running the scotiabank marathon in Toronto today while I sit in a starbucks sipping a coffee with some heavy whipping cream and cinnamon. Strong work Dee, you’re awesome.
Now onto todays topic, organic foods. I checked out the Whole Foods in Oakville yesterday. It’s a pretty awesome spot, but like most “health” related situations it sparked my curious side. As an aside they’ve got some seriously awesome stuff at this place and if you’re mindful of what you buy, you can get some really quality food without breaking the bank. The problem I have with places like Whole Foods is that I think they trick people into making the same dietary mistakes, but with organic or exotic ingredients.
Organic, gluten free carrot cake tastes amazing, but it’s STILL cake. People seem to forget that.
There is a huge benefit to buying local, buying grass-fed/pastured and buying organic. But buying organic pasta to put organic spaghetti sauce and organic parmasan cheese on top of it is just gives you an expensive plate of sugar. It isn’t the lack of organic ingredients that is making you fat/inflammed/in pain, it’s the types of ingredients you’re eating in the first place.
Goji berries, while having a cool name, and packing some nutrients, are no better than blueberries. And we don’t have to go to Nepal to get wild, locally grown blueberries (that seems redundant doesn’t it?). If you’re shopping at health food stores to help the environment, purchasing exotic foods from across the world is not helping. Things like goji berries, acai berries or the like, involve someone picking them lots of miles away, and shipping them around the world so that you can feel cool eating a “superfood”. Don’t be that guy. Eat the berries, fruits and vegetables local to our area, that are picked fresh, and allowed to ripen properly. Concentrate on locally grown fruits and veggies. Kohlrabi, apples, figs, plums, peaches, beets, turnips, kale, brussel sprouts, the list goes on, are all good, locally grown, nutrient dense foods. Try to lean towards veggies, but fruit will satisfy a sweet tooth.
Organic cookies are still off limits people. Whole grain is not “ok”. Anything that resembles or seems like a grain is not ok. Get off the grains. these foods are still mostly sugar with some lectins, phytates and other wonderful ingredients mixed in. If you’re buying organic foods to be more “healthy”, you’re undermining yourself by eating these foods.
If you’re shopping at a health foods store to be cool, well, you’re doing it for the wrong reasons, and those of us who are doing it properly hope you enjoy your zumba/insanity/ab rocket workout and hope that it works out well.
Aside from the above recommendations, here are some more:
- Try to find a CSA (community sustained agriculture) in your area and support it, it’s worth it. You receive a good number of fruit and veggies. Get ready to eat some mystery vegetables.
- Look into contacting a farm for pastured meat. Many times you can request your cow be grass finished (I.e. It never gets fattened up with grain). You’ll pay more, but it’s worth it. Also, ask for the fat rendered from the beef, most people don’t, but you’re paying for it and it’s great for cooking. And, since you chose the grass finished beef, the fat profile is amazingly good FOR you.
- Go to a farmers market in your area. It’s the market of local stuff (fruit, veggies, meat, etc.). Prices will be a bit higher than the previous two options, but you’re paying for the convenience.
That’s all for now! If you have any ideas or suggestions I missed, post ’em to comments!