Gettysburg College is in the middle of rural farmland PA giving college students like myself access to a plethora of farms and whole-foods products. What’s more, Giant (the local Grocery Store) has an entire section dedicated to organic and whole-foods. Here’s the kicker: Giant’s prices, while still not completely discounted, are much lower than those of let’s say Whole Foods or Fairway. In fact, Giant has much lower prices while offering most of it’s competitor’s available products.
The organic section of Giant is located on the far right of the store, immediately to the left of the produce section. In two aisles one can find anything from crackers and cereal, to frozen foods, milks and cheeses, even medicines and bath products.
I don’t shop in this section for the bulk of my food items, however, I do keep an eye on some of my favorite products to watch for sales. Also, I buy things like bath products in this section because the higher price guarantees that the products are not tested on animals and contain as few chemicals as possible.
Basically, I break down my shopping like this: anything that is an essential part of my diet, and lasts a long time in my fridge or cabinet, should be bought organic because I am making an investment. Not only am I keeping my body as healthy and chemical free as possible, but I am also supporting local farms and smaller companies. Then, for things like fruits and veggies I try to buy seasonal and fresh (unfortunately even organic foods can be effected by GMOs) so I just use my best judgment. Also, for items like meats and milk and cereals, crackers and baking mixes I read the packages and information and just try to get the best deal. Unfortunately, even the best known companies are run by corporations like Tyson and Perdue so there are not many ways to avoid buying from them unless you buy directly from a farm, or from a very small business.
For more information about organic foods and how the food industry is evolving I would highly recommend watching the film Food Inc., it completely changed how I eat and perceive the food industry, especially the FDA.
-Simple breakdown of what to buy-
1) If you really want to break it down easy, I’d say it is most important to buy things like honey, flour, sugar, eggs, and oil organic. This is because these products are best bought without any processing, and the more they are processed the less nutritional value they will have.
2) Another thing to note is that it is important to try to buy products that have been processed as little as possible. This means you should read labels on everything you buy, and even do a little bit of research about the companies you are supporting. If you stick to these two rules than you should be just fine.
3) On that note, I would recommend cooking with coconut oil because it is much leaner, and can be cooked into a variety of foods easily. Furthermore, I recommend buying local honey (helps with allergies), and purchasing organic nut products and oils to cook with.
Look out for more tips and recipes this Thursday, including Panko Grilled Chicken and uses of Coconut Oil.