Tag Archives: grocery

I’m off supermarkets (and all farmers market) (13 pics)

Two years ago (Sep, 09) I took an insane leap of faith and went completely off supermarkets. I was on a quest to find the healthiest food available and farmers markets were increasingly fitting the bill. My supermarket at the time, Whole Foods, was considered to offer superior food but was mostly overcharging me for inferior food.

The food at the farmers market was cheaper and tasted better, but I was only buying select items. It wasn’t accounting for my main meals everyday. So I cut the cord and said goodbye to processed, packaged foods, and refrigerated produce.

I figured I would last a week and run starving back to Whole Foods.

The world I encountered was so different from what I expected. Peaches that were so filling I could skip a meal. Desserts that I couldn’t over-eat and had to save for later. Items called “seconds” that cost pennies to the dollar only because they needed to be eaten right away.

I was hooked. My worries quickly faded away and the weeks turned into months. Now, here I am years later and still enthralled. The food varies each week but is always filling and tasty.

Below is a photo-sample of this weeks purchases. Enjoy!

And, if you are thinking of trying out farmers markets, or even getting off supermarkets, I give you a virtual high-five. It will be the best decision you ever make.

Jalapeños, super hot. They use to be green, but turn red as they dry. When dry they flake and can be used for spicing it up.

 

Staggered avocado bag. Each one ripens at a different time in the week.
Country White and Cheese.
Watermelon is almost gone and super cheap ($3)
Bean sprouts.
Easy to cook (3 mins) and doesn't need sauce, just a few cut-up vegetables, cheese.
Concord grapes.
3 for $10
BBQ the corn. Dip the broccoli in the hummus.
Perfect for quesadillas and pasta
For meatball sandwiches.
The honey is for making ice cream.
The old-school italian farmer said three of these (dried Jujubes) every morning keeps you regular.

I'm off supermarkets (and all farmers market) (13 pics)

Two years ago (Sep, 09) I took an insane leap of faith and went completely off supermarkets. I was on a quest to find the healthiest food available and farmers markets were increasingly fitting the bill. My supermarket at the time, Whole Foods, was considered to offer superior food but was mostly overcharging me for inferior food.

The food at the farmers market was cheaper and tasted better, but I was only buying select items. It wasn’t accounting for my main meals everyday. So I cut the cord and said goodbye to processed, packaged foods, and refrigerated produce.

I figured I would last a week and run starving back to Whole Foods.

The world I encountered was so different from what I expected. Peaches that were so filling I could skip a meal. Desserts that I couldn’t over-eat and had to save for later. Items called “seconds” that cost pennies to the dollar only because they needed to be eaten right away.

I was hooked. My worries quickly faded away and the weeks turned into months. Now, here I am years later and still enthralled. The food varies each week but is always filling and tasty.

Below is a photo-sample of this weeks purchases. Enjoy!

And, if you are thinking of trying out farmers markets, or even getting off supermarkets, I give you a virtual high-five. It will be the best decision you ever make.

Jalapeños, super hot. They use to be green, but turn red as they dry. When dry they flake and can be used for spicing it up.

 

Staggered avocado bag. Each one ripens at a different time in the week.
Country White and Cheese.
Watermelon is almost gone and super cheap ($3)
Bean sprouts.
Easy to cook (3 mins) and doesn't need sauce, just a few cut-up vegetables, cheese.
Concord grapes.
3 for $10
BBQ the corn. Dip the broccoli in the hummus.
Perfect for quesadillas and pasta
For meatball sandwiches.
The honey is for making ice cream.
The old-school italian farmer said three of these (dried Jujubes) every morning keeps you regular.

How food coma overcomes exercising

Let’s pretend that you’re an alien coming to Earth for the first time. You have no existing knowledge of humans and someone describes this to you:

The human ingests an item that inhibits their ability to think or move. Essentially their brain and body is in a weakened state. This state lasts for around an hour.

Would you think that I am describing poison?

It does seem that way, but what I am actually describing is the common American lunch (and dinner). Somehow we have developed a culture of acceptance for this and we call it, food coma.

This phenomenon is now a three times daily occurrence and spoken of with pride, like on Thanksgiving Day we all look forward to it.

A quick Google Timeline search shows that the phrase is barely mentioned in texts until 1995, after which it explodes in print. A modern phenomenon.

Which helps for me when studying our obesity epidemic. Most of us believe that a major part of the problem is our lazy new digital culture. Sometime in the last 50 years we lost our outdoor spirit and replaced it with a lazy indoor video game, laptop habit.

But, would you still believe that if you thought about food coma as poison?

Think about it. Food is supposed to give you energy and make you smarter, stronger, healthier. It provides us with essential fats, minerals, vitamins, carbs, proteins.

Instead, many of our meals give us food coma which makes us tired, stupid, and lazy.

So there you have it.

Eat one type of meal (or over eat) and you spend the next hour in a dumb, lazy stupor. Eat another type of meal and you are full of energy, most likely participating in some active endeavor.

I have tested this on my own family. For one Thanksgiving meal I cooked using only high quality ingredients in proper portions. This included an appetizer, full meal, and dessert.

I watched in amazement as not one person retired to the couch for the NFL game on TV, which was our usual routine.

My parents went for a bike ride. My brothers walked around the whole house talking. Even my 80+ year old Grandpa went out inspecting our backyard garden.

One experiment, but I would say it’s common sense.

Eat right and three times a day you will be given a boost of energy which compels you to be more active. It will also improve your daily health, reduce your calorie intake, and reduce your risk for serious chronic conditions.

Eat poorly and your come under a food coma.

In the journal, Scientific American, Paul Li, a professor of Cognitive Science at Berkeley, states:

“(food coma) can strike anyone who pigs out on foods loaded with carbohydrates, fats or sugars.”

To which I say that everything sold in supermarkets is loaded with all three. Usually in improper portions so it can be labelled “low-fat”, “low calorie”, or “high in protein”.

Further, Professor Li’s states that the body’s response to this is:

“As food breaks down into glucose—the simplest form of sugar, which the body uses for fuel—you will experience a surge in blood sugar. To ­counter this spike, your body releases the hormone insulin.”

Which reminds me of the increase in diabetes we are experiencing in this country. Now, this is just an assumption since I am not a researcher or doctor, but one can easily imagine that a three times daily surge in insulin could cause lasting problems.

Now what do you think?

In my last post, Why nobody knows how to prevent obesity, I argued that we are eating the wrong type of food. This is happening because everything sold in grocery stores is bad for us. Grocery stores are the problem.

To which many folks replied that exercise and lifestyle is just as important. That we need all three (good food, exercise, and healthy lifestyles) in order to curb the obesity epidemic.

To which I reply and still stand by, it’s all about the food. That is the foundation of our existence and without it we just cannot function.

Why nobody knows how to prevent obesity

The 2011 obesity report from the Trust for America’s Health just came out and the news is as bad as ever. Every state has a minimum obesity rate of 20% and not one saw a decrease, while 16 saw an increase.

“Twenty years ago, no state had an obesity rate above 15 percent.  Today, more than two out of three states, 38 total, have obesity rates over 25 percent, and just one has a rate lower than 20 percent (Colorado at 19.8%).”

“Since 1995, when data was available for every state, obesity rates have doubled in seven states and increased by at least 90 percent in 10 others.”

Now, those numbers are bad and so are the corresponding increases in diabetes (rate has doubled) and hypertension (20%+ in every state). But, the number that I consider telling is found on page 11 of the full report (pdf):

“More than two-thirds (68 percent) of Americans are either overweight or obese”

Or, spin it the other way and it tells you only 32% of America is fit.

Which makes this issue so tough. No one seems to understand the problem, solution, or even the struggles every individual faces.

The report itself provides little in the way of recommendations only asking for the government to fund research and education.

Here is the problem, as I see it.

Food is the foundation. If we are eating good food then all should be well, after all our species survived for 10,000 years as fit world dominators.

Which means that we are eating bad food, and so what is bad food?

Before we get to that it’s important to point out all the discussion around nutrition, physical activity, cooking and what have you. That is where all the focus is and I think it’s absolutely useless.

I compare it to flying a plane without gas. You can check the wings, throw a pilot in there, and even get clearance from the tower, but if you don’t put in gas (the right gas) none of that matters.

Bad Food = everything in the grocery store.

I know this sounds crazy, but the facts are there. Everyone in America relies on grocery stores for food and it’s causing 2/3 of them health problems.

How many more need to become overweight before we start to question the very fundamentals of our grocery store lifestyle?