Take these tomatoes, for example. I bought them at Sunflower Market before tomatoes were in season. It says on the label that they are “all natural” with “no preservatives.” But right under that, you find out they’re coated in petroleum-based wax to maintain freshness. Not cool.
Sure, it might be “food grade” but it’s hardly natural. Don’t be swindled; your health is not a game.
Consider these five tips to not be tricked when grocery shopping:
1. Read the labels. Duh. But it’s not so easy when you have a fussy baby and a growling stomach and suddenly Rice-a-Roni sounds like the perfect dinner option. I wouldn’t have bought those tomatoes if I had taken a second to see what the label said.
2. Remember the agenda. Food conglomerates want to make money. They pour resources into finding what consumers want and then marketing to it, not actually providing it. Or else they tell consumers they want low-fat and sugar-free and then claim to have it — when that isn’t what our bodies really want in the first place.
3. Buy local. Especially during summer months, local farms and farmer’s markets have so many nutrient-rich foods. Support food that hasn’t been coated in wax so it can survive a trip from Mexico.
4. Be suspicious of uniformity. If all apples look perfectly red with no bruises or worm holes, that’s not natural. If all orange juice tastes the exact same, regardless of the season, something is fishy. If the samples lady is trying to hand you a chicken nugget shaped into like a dinosaur, that’s just unappetizing.
5. Don’t eat it if your grandma didn’t. If there’s a food product that’s a new invention, it’s not real food. When the food industry finds a way to make something cheaper or more convenient, that’s a bad thing for your health.