If you are a health conscious person, you probably are very selective of the types of food you eat, and the stores from which you buy them.
And, if you’re not, then this blog might convince you to start taking a closer look when it comes to the food you’re buying.
Whether you try to be health conscious or not, I invite you to take a moment and ask yourself: do you really know where your food is coming from? Our food landscape today is vastly different than it was just 50 years ago, and in the modern food industry it is very easy for food to come from all sorts of unknown places.
A huge component to conscious health is being conscious not just about what you’re putting in your body, but where it’s coming from. It goes without saying that we want to try our hardest to avoid packaged and processed foods, but today I want to share with you four important tips to keep in mind when grocery shopping so that you can have a better idea of where your food is being sourced from.
Meat: Grass-Fed vs. Factory-Farmed
Not all meat is created equal, but that doesn’t mean we should avoid consuming meat completely. Rather, it means we need to be mindful of where our meat is coming from.
Factory-farm animals are fed unhealthy foods like GMO corn and grains, they’re given antibiotics and hormone injections to make them fatter, and they’re kept inhumanely in a tiny cage with no ability to roam freely outside in their natural habitat like they are supposed to.
When we eat these animals, we are also eating all the toxins that have accumulated in their fat deposits due to their unhealthy diets and stressful lifestyle.
On the other hand, when we eat cows that were fed their normal diet of grass, were not given any hormones or antibiotics, and were not exposed to a stressful environment, we are eating healthy cows.
Another important reason to eat grass-fed meat is because it has the proper ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acids. When these proportions are out of balance, like they are with grain-fed meats, it causes inflammation in the body and can lead to the development of obesity and diabetes. Both of these fats are essential fatty acids that the body needs, with omega 3 actually showing promise in obesity management and prevention. However, these fatty acids cannot be made by humans and must be derived from the diet, and the modern food industry produces foods with far too much omega 6 acids and too few omega 3’s. Proper proportions are supposed to be 1.5: or 1:1 (omega 6 to omega 3) but conventional meat has ratios up to 20:1!
Additionally, it is important to recognize the difference between organic and grass-fed. Meat can be organic and not grass-fed if the grains that were fed to the cows were organic. This is still a better alternative to regular meat, but the best option is to go grass-fed! If cost is a factor, you can opt for grass-fed organ meats, which can easily be made palatable by masking in meatloafs and stews, and are less expensive than filets and more traditional cuts.
As a general rule of thumb, any grass-fed system is much better than a grain-fed one. In fact, a study found that switching cows from a grain-based diet to a grass diet resulted in a 1000-fold reduction of E.Coli in their guts, over the course of just five days! Additionally, grass-based diets were found to significantly improve the fatty acid (FA) composition and antioxidant content of beef, which has tremendous health benefits for those who consume it.
Seafood (source: Primal Health Coach Certified Course Material Copyright 2016 Primal Blueprint Publishing, Oxnard CA)
Seafood is a great source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, however there can also be a downside to consuming fish if it is not coming from the right place. Modern commercial farming techniques, cooking methods, and how the fish are caught are all factors that can potentially detract from the health benefits of fish.
In general, it is best to avoid farm raised fish and choose the wild caught option instead. However, there are some fishing methods that are questionable and not environmentally-friendly, so if you want to ensure you are both eating healthy fish and not harming the environment in the process, you can download a great brochure for guidelines on buying and ordering fish, or check out The Marine Stewardship Council.
Other fish to avoid include those imported from Asia (both farmed and wild caught), because they tend to be contaminated with chemicals and do not have the same regulations as we do here in the US. Additionally, you should also stay away from fish that are high in mercury, such as shark, swordfish, and king mackerel, as well as frozen processed fish products– check your labels and see how long the ingredient list is!
Produce: Local, Organic, and Non-Organic
Another reason why we need to be conscious of where our food is coming from is because of micronutrient depletion.
In an ideal world, we’d be able to do what our ancestors did and simply get all the nutrients we need from real, whole foods; however, our environment is vastly different today and unfortunately this is no longer possible. According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Study, more than 96 percent of Americans are not getting the micronutrients they need from food alone. So, I wanted to share 3 reasons why our food landscape is different today than in the past.
- Depleted soil. Our food just doesn’t contain the same nutrients it used to. Research has found that North America’s farms and rangelands show up to 85% mineral depletion. So, what does this mean? This means that the same apple consumed today has far less nutrients than 100 years ago, but the same number of calories!
- Global distribution. Our food is traveling farther distances. Back in the day, we ate what could be found in our backyards so to speak. Today, our food often travels hundreds or sometimes thousands of miles before it gets to us. Heat, light, and air all deplete nutrients, so by the time food gets from its point of origin to our plates, it is significantly less nutritious.
- Premature picking. Produce is often picked before it is fully ripe to prolong its shelf life, thus not allowing the full amount of nutrients to develop.
So, one of the best ways to ensure your food has as many micronutrients as possible is to shop locally at your farmer’s market. If there isn’t one by you, or because of convenience it isn’t an option, then you can try to select produce items that are geographically close to you. Most stores list where the fruits and vegetables are from, and if not then you can ask.
For more information about why we’re not getting the micronutrients we need on a daily basis, even when we’re eating healthy, check out the book The Micronutrient Miracle by Dr. Jayson and Mira Calton.
This hidden danger in most produce is something you may not have even heard of, but it is really important to be aware of whether or not it is in your food. So what is glyphosate? Glyphosate is the main ingredient in herbicide aka Roundup, and it’s residue is found in most genetically modified soy, corn, sugar, and wheat. Research suggests that consumption of this harmful chemical is partly responsible for the increasing prevalence of chronic illnesses in the Western world. Glyphosate can hinder the functioning of the human microbe, which can lead to a buildup of toxins and inflammation, which can set the tone for the development of disease. To ensure your foods do not contain Glyphosate, buy foods that are certified organic.
I know organic can be costly, so it is best to prioritize purchasing organic for produce that are known for being high in Glyphosate, such as tomatoes, apples, and potatoes. The top pesticide-laden foods are known as the “Dirty Dozen,” and you can find the list here to help you select which foods you should be buying organic. To stay up-to-date with the most current list, check out the Environmental Working Group’s list , and to learn more about the harmful effects of glyphosate, check out this article.
The food landscape of today can be a bit of a mystery, but it doesn’t have to be scary if you have the right resources! Check your labels and ask questions when you’re shopping to understand where your food came from, and you will be able to eat safer, and smarter!
About The Author: Simone Krame
Simone Krame is a lifestyle coach and founder of Conscious Living & Lifestyle, a lifestyle coaching business that helps people achieve their fitness, nutrition, and spiritual/emotional goals by creating a synergistic relationship between mind, body, and soul.
Simone graduated Cum Laude from the University of Florida with a Bachelors degree in Finance and concentration in Spirituality and Health. Currently, she is getting her Masters in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis on the mind, body, spirit connection.
Simone is a Certified Primal Health Coach, Certified Personal Trainer, Balanced Bites Master Class Certified Practitioner, and has participated in a variety of mind, body, spirit courses, workshops, and webinars that, coupled with her life experience, allow her to be confident in her knowledge and approach to coaching clients.
Connect With Simone
Get More Wellness In Your Life
- Join the WFR Community on facebook
- Send Josh Trent a personal message
- Tweet me on Twitter: Send us a fun tweet (or a what's up)
- Comment on the Facebook page
- Sign up to get an email alert whenever we release a new episode
Support This Podcast
- Leave a 5 star review on iTunes
- Share this episode with someone you care about
- Contact Wellness Force Radio for podcast sponsorship and partnership opportunities
Rate & Review Wellness Force
Ask A Live Question For The Next Episode
—> Click here to leave a voicemail directly to Josh Trent to be read live on the air.
You May Also Like These Episodes
- Food Freedom Forever With Melissa Hartwig
- Nir Eyal: Breaking Bad Habits, Technology Addiction, & Emotional Triggers
- Healthy, Happy & Harder To Kill w/ Steph Gaudreau of Stupid Easy Paleo
- Beyond Meditation: How To Get A Better Brain With Ariel Garten
- Living A Healthy Lifestyle In A Modern World With Dan Pardi
- Creating A Life Worth Living With Michael Strasner
- Join the Wellness Force Newsletter: www.wellnessforce.com/news
- Don't miss next week's show: Subscribe and stay updated
- Did you like this show on Ketosis? Rate and review Wellness Force on iTunes
You read all the way to the bottom? That's what I call love!
Write to me and let me know what you'd like to have to get more wellness in your life.
- The Morning Routine Is Dead: Why Rituals Win Better Wellness ( March 28, 2018 )
- Unlocking Wellness In A Busy World ( January 1, 2018 )
- Top 5 Healthy Habits to Change How You FEEL in 2018 ( December 31, 2017 )
- Nutrigenomics – Genetic Testing For Better Health ( April 17, 2017 )
- The Four Tendencies – Gretchen Rubin on
- Brainpower, Consciousness, & The Placebo Effect With Jesse Lawler on
- Christine Hassler – Surviving The Expectation Hangover on
- Dr. Cortney Warren | Honest Liars: The Psychology of Self-Deception on
- Living A Healthy Lifestyle In A Modern World With Dan Pardi on
- June 2018
- May 2018
- April 2018
- March 2018
- February 2018
- January 2018
- December 2017
- November 2017
- October 2017
- September 2017
- August 2017
- July 2017
- June 2017
- May 2017
- April 2017
- March 2017
- February 2017
- January 2017
- December 2016
- November 2016
- October 2016
- September 2016
- August 2016
- July 2016
- June 2016
- May 2016
- April 2016
- March 2016
- February 2016
- January 2016
- December 2015
- November 2015
- October 2015
- September 2015
- August 2015
- July 2015
- June 2015
- May 2015
- April 2015
- March 2015
- February 2015
- January 2015
- December 2014
- November 2014
- October 2014
- September 2014
- August 2014
- July 2014
- June 2014
- April 2014
- March 2014
- August 2013
- July 2013
- July 2012
- May 2012
- April 2012
- January 2012
- November 2011
- October 2011
- September 2011
- August 2011
- July 2011
- June 2011
- May 2011
- April 2011
- March 2011
- February 2011
- December 2010
- November 2010
- September 2010
- August 2010
- May 2010
- February 2009