Thursday, June 25, 2009

Finding Real Food

One of the hardest parts about trying to cook with real food is finding it! I've spent a lot of time looking around town and in local grocery stores for real food.

Raw Dairy, Grass-fed Beef, and Pastured/Free Range Eggs

I found two stores that sell raw milk. Right up the road from our apartment, there is a country store that sells all kinds of real food. It's really awesome! They sell grass-fed raw milk, raw milk cheese, free-range eggs, and grass-fed beef, among other things. I'm definitely excited about that place. Then, I found another place today. There is a produce store (more about it in a second) that sells raw milk also. It's a little less expensive than the other store, and it's jersey cow milk. There hasn't been much cream in the milk from country store, and I know that is supposed to be an indicator for the quality of milk. It's Holstein milk. Is the cream different from Jersey milk? I don't know. But, I'm going to try the milk from the produce store. I haven't tried the beef yet, but I think I'll go buy some this week. I also haven't tried the eggs or cheese yet. I'll probably continue to buy pasteurized cheese, because all this real food is going to get expensive. The eggs were only $2 a dozen, so I'll buy some soon. I found some free-range eggs at Walmart for $3.50, too, and that is what I am using now. They also had huge packages of grass-fed butter. I don't know how that compares in price, but I'm anxious to try it out.

Other Products

Other products have been harder to find. I had no idea how hard it was to find real food in the grocery store! For example, I'm looking for just regular old butter, and there is only one brand of real butter in the store, but 20 or 30 varieties of margarine or spread. I was looking for yogurt today and, again, only one brand of regular, non-low fat yogurt. I'm looking for pasta that is whole grain, but everything has industrialized soy in it. (I'm still not sure what you are supposed to eat in regards to grains, but I'm trying to buy whole grain pasta and bread with very few ingredients. I know ideally, I would make my own, but I just don't have the time or resources for that at this point. I'm also not sure what you are supposed to do in regards to cooking with sugar. Obviously, refined white sugar is a no-no, but is there something you can use instead? Any suggestions welcomed!) Fish is pretty easy to find and I'm just buying normal chicken from the store. Can't afford to go for 100% the best products out there. I think you have to choose your battles. I am buying chicken with the skin on it. In Real Food, Nina Planck says that there are a lot of vitamins and nutrients in the skin and bones and we shouldn't throw the baby out with the bathwater, so to speak, when it comes to chicken skin. Which, I frankly was excited to hear, because I've always loved eating the skin off chicken.


I was super psyched to go check out the local farmer's market this morning with mom. I had been planning this all week. We get there, and there are only 3 or 4 stands. I was so bummed. I did get some very beautiful blackberries, decent green beans, 6 great looking ears of corn, and a couple very large zucchini. But, then, I found that produce store in downtown, owned and stocked by a local farmer. Ninety percent of their fruits and veggies come from their own farm. I bought tomatoes, apples, sweet potatoes, and lemons. I was too scared to ask about the pesticides they use, but I figure buying locally is a step in the right direction and I'll ask about pesticides next time. I'm such a wimp. They also had some preserves that look yummy. All in all, I spent $15 on produce today and got more than enough for the week. I should've bought some strawberries. They looked amazing. But, I had already bought the blackberries, so I decided to wait until next time. The only produce I bought at the grocery store was lettuce, and I found a grocery store with
great lettuce. Did I mention we just moved to a new town? I'm still checking out all the grocery stores and comparing their products.

1 comment:

  1. Great blog! I noticed you're looking for an alternative to refined sugar. Have you ever tried turbinado sugar? It's not a white sugar - in fact, it's more like brown sugar - but it's a raw, unrefined sugar. I just learned that there is a Hawaiian product, sold in the U.S. under the brand name "Sugar in the Raw." I know you can buy it on Amazon, but I'm not sure where else. Anyway, hope this helps. :-)