Julie’s Health Club passes along some great food shopping tips from Michael Pollan. Take a look:
Rather than a rating system, what we need is common sense. And Pollan, thankfully, has provided some logical rules of thumb to help you find the kind of food you should eat: real food that doesn't lie to your body.Hey, you know I’m loving the one about community supported agriculture—come on spring!
- DON'T EAT ANYTHING YOUR GREAT-GRANDMOTHER WOULDN'T RECOGNIZE AS FOOD. No Go-Gurt Portable Yogurt tubes. (She wouldn't be able to identify high-fructose corn syrup, modified corn starch, kosher gelatin, carrageenan, tricalcium phosphate, natural and artificial flavors, etc.) No "protein waters," "nondairy creamers" or foods that never grow stale.
- AVOID FOOD PRODUCTS CONTAINING INGREDIENTS THAT ARE A) UNFAMILIAR, B) UNPRONOUNCABLE, C) MORE THAN FIVE IN NUMBER, OR THAT INCLUDE D) HIGH-FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP. Pollan's example: Sara Lee's Soft & Smooth Whole Grain White Bread, which fails every test proposed by this rule. "If not for the indulgence of the Food and Drug Administration, (it) could not even be labeled "bread," he wrote.
- AVOID PRODUCTS THAT MAKE HEALTH CLAIMS. If a food has a health claim, it probably has a package and that means it's very likely processed. Moreover, the FDA's "qualified" health claims" are all but meaningless.
- SHOP THE PERIPHERIES OF THE SUPERMARKET AND STAY OUT OF THE MIDDLE. "Processed foods products dominate the center aisles of the store while the cases of ostensibly fresh food--dairy, produce, meat and fish--line the walls," Pollan wrote. Be careful though, because high-fructose corn syrup lurks in the dairy case.
- GET OUT OF THE SUPERMARKET WHENEVER POSSIBLE. "You won't find any high-fructose corn syrup at the farmer's market. Also look into CSA (community supported agriculture), in which you can subscribe to a farm and receive a box of produce.)"