Smart Shopping Checklist

Yesterday I went to the grocery store near my house, and it took hours. Hours and hours and hours. I knew what I needed for the most part; however, between quitting meat, avoiding high fructose corn syrup, trans fat, trying more organics, etc., it takes so long to evaluate any new item I might want to try. Each product needs it's own deliberation. Either I can buy only things I've already bought and evaluated in the past, or I need to block off my entire Sunday afternoon for food shopping.

Neither of these plans seem exciting. I want to try new foods, but I want to get out of the store in a reasonable period of time. So I need a good checklist that I can take with me and go over quickly with each new food I encounter. I'm not talking about a grocery list of foods to buy. I usually go with one in hand. I'm talking about a list of questions to ask myself before I plop something new (or something old that I haven't had in a while) in my shopping cart.

Drop150's Smart Shopping Checklist:

1. Does it contain high fructose corn syrup? If yes, don't buy it.

2. Does it have trans fat or list "partially hydrogenated," "hydrogenated vegetable oil," or "shortening" on the ingredients list? If yes, don't buy it.

3. Is there a reasonable organic alternative?

4. Is it pescetarian? (Does it have meat, gelatin, animal fats, cochineal, rennet, or Carmine (Cochineal, E120, Natural Red 4, or C.I. 75470)? If yes, don't buy it.

5. Does the cheese contain enzymes are microbial or vegetable-based? Other cheeses might not be pescetarian.

5. Are the eggs from cage free chickens?

6. For dairy, is there a soy alternative?

7. Is there a whole grain version?

What are the questions you ask yourself when you shop? What other foods or ingredients do you avoid? Please share so I can refine this list before I try it out in a few weeks.


Anonymous said...

If you want to lose weight and be healthy, I really would suggest buying only 'whole' foods, foods that are not processed. I have a couple of guidelines for this. First, only buy foods where you can pronounce every ingredient it contains. Second, only buy foods that have five or less ingredients. There are of course exceptions. If there are 10 ingredients but you can pronounce all of them, go for it. Another really good guideline to follow is to shop only the perimeter of your grocery store--start with fruits and veggies, make a stop at the butcher/fish counter for lean meats and fish and round out your trip with low-fat dairies. I only dip into the middle aisles if I buy items like brown rice/whole grain pasta, etc. It of course takes a little more planning to prepare meals using these ingredients, but you can make stir fries, sandwiches, rice and veggies with chicken, you get the idea. The foods in the middle are very tempting, but not as tempting as reaching your goals!!

Good luck with your journey :)