I love Whole Foods! I started this post over a month ago and remembered it when I was at Whole Foods this past Monday. Amy, I promise I'm not copying you. I almost decided not to post it because I didn't want you to think I was stealing your idea (I know you wouldn't think that anyway), but after the conversation all the girls had at our cg tonight I decided to go ahead and finish this post. We are all looking for more information. So, here's part of my journey.
A few years ago, I made the decision to eliminate as many preservatives and chemicals from our family's diet as possible. It began when I started having trouble with my thyroid. The more research I did, the more I discovered the link between optimal health and diet. We ate pretty well and I had always been suspicious of all the chemicals in our foods, but I learned there were still lots of things to change.
I started small- it can be overwhelming otherwise. Our first change was organic dairy products and meat. That was a big place to start for the pocketbook, but it seemed to be the most important. I started there because there was research to show that the hormones in milk and meat could affect human hormones. I didn't need anything else affecting my hormones! Organic milk can be found just about everywhere now. If I can't find organic meat, I buy meat that is free from hormones and antibiotics. What a difference in taste- especially the chicken.
The next change I made was to eliminate these five ingredients-- MSG (or Mono sodium glutamate), partially hydrogenated oils, food dyes, high fructose corn syrup, and aspartame. This was much harder. Food dyes were easy since I avoided those anyway, but it was amazing to me how many things contained the high fructose corn syrup and partially hydrogenated oils- even the foods marketed as "healthy" such as granola bars and whole wheat bread were not always free of these not so healthy ingredients.
In January, I stopped drinking diet coke because of the aspartame. I love Diet Coke- that was probably the hardest one so far. But, the benefits have been noticeable. My memory is better (really) and now that I haven't had it in months, I don't want it anymore. It took a while to get there. I craved it for a while.
The best way to avoid these five ingredients, of course, is to eat foods as whole as possible and cook everything from scratch. :) That is such a great ideal, but it just doesn't happen every day in our busy lives, so I just read labels and shop carefully.
My next jump was organic produce. This one I'm not as consistent with, but all of our canned and frozen vegetables are organic. Grant eats apples all of the time, so those are always organic.
I'm still working on going all the way with this one. The veggie co-op we are with saves us so much money, but I do struggle with the question of what's better -- eating these fruits and veggies with pesticides or just not eating as many fruits and veggies. So, we are at about 50% organic produce.
This post is really more about my story than giving advice, but if I were going to give any I would say-- start small, read labels, do some research, and then do what you can.
Whole Foods has made this all so much easier for me. It's not the perfect store, but I sure do love it.