Right now I have to prioritize and here are the things I find most important to me- I am in no way saying everyone needs to eat how I do. We all need to do what is best for our families : )
- Antibiotic Free Meat. I hate the fact that antibiotics are used in meat to make the animals grow faster. The overuse of antibiotics causes major issues in our food source and because of this I refuse to buy regular grocery store meat. It does cost a little more but I find if I wait for sales at Whole Foods and even markdowns on antibiotic free meat at regular grocery stores I am able to get really good deals.
- GMO Free Food. Genetically modified food rubs me the wrong way. I want my food to be from the earth, not modified on the dna level in a laboratory. The fact that they can inject fish or pig dna into produce is gross to me. Just give me good old normal food and I am good.
- No Artificial Colors, Flavors or High Fructose Corn Syrup. These kinds of food never enter my home, unless they are for my husband who specifically requests them (he is great about our healthy lifestyle but still loves his junk- he is a grown man and can eat what he wants though I do not let the kids have any of it). Artificial anything is never good and I avoid it like the plague.
-Less Processed Foods. I make 90% of our food from scratch but I still do but some processed foods because I am not super woman. My kids snack on pretzels and crackers but I am making a big effort to cut down on this and replace these snacks with home popped popcorn, fruit and cheese. When I do end up buying processed foods I usually end up with organic (or at the least gmo free) because the ingredient list agrees with me- which is another reason whey I try not to buy processed food too much because it is expensive!
- Lots of Fruits and Veggies. I cannot afford organic anymore but whatever. The things I listed above are more important to me so buying traditional produce is no biggie. Yes, pesticides are not good but on my priority list I need to spend my money on more important things. Someday when out financial position improves I will start buying organic produce but that time is not now.
I also want to say that I have recently gone gluten and dairy free due to my Crohn's Disease. It is basically a disease that affects your digestive tract and causes inflammation. I get lots of debilitating pain when I am having a flare up and in the past have become so sick that I was down to weighing 75 pounds. Since going gluten and diary free (I do allow small amounts of dairy that seem to agree with me) I have been feeling awesome. I have been also thinking of cutting out all processed sugar as well and think I will roll this over into what my kids eat. I have realized through my chronic disease that food is medicine- what we eat can drastically affect out health.
Honestly I have no idea if I can stick to all of these things while on a tighter budget. I am going to do my best but I am sure some of my "ideals" will have to be sacrificed. Right now I would love to only spend $100 a week for my family of five (two adults, a six year old, a four year old and a two year old) but I will have to see if that is actually plausible.
Gosh darn it- I wish grocery shopping weren't so stressful!