Hello there! Since I told you the other day about the cow in my freezer, today I thought I would tell you about where I picked up the rest of my food this week.
Ideally, I would love to have a garden and grow all of my own food. Have things like apple trees and blackberry bushes and a big vegetable patch with all things natural and yummy. But I live in a townhouse and my back yard looks like this:
Oh, and my dogs like to sneak out there to pee. Makes a garden a little less appealing now, doesn’t it?
So the next best thing would be a CSA or Farmers Markets. I went to a local Farmer’s Market the past weekend & it was lame with a capital “L.” I hadn’t been in a while so maybe it’s not up and running like it usually is in the Summer, but I was very disappointed. And I haven’t signed up for a CSA yet. (wow, I’m kind of full of excuses.)
No garden, no CSA, and no Farmer’s Market means a trip to the grocery store.
Which coincided with a request from Safeway to check out SimpleNutrition their “new ‘at the shelf’ program that simplifies and personalizes grocery shopping so you feel confident about making informed food choices.” Cool right? So I headed off to scout out this program and pick up some much needed non-meat groceries.
I thought the tags helped narrow down healthy choices. Does it mean you don’t have to read food labels? No way! These tags just means you don’t have to read as many food labels. I was able to immediately hone in on and narrow my focus while grocery shopping. I found the tags I really liked (i.e. “made with whole grains”) and then started to read nutrition labels. It saved me a lot of time!
Here’s my rant about food labels: READ THEM! Things I regularly check on food labels are serving size, sugar, sodium and the ingredient lists. The less ingredients the better. Did you know that products can contain up to a half of a gram of trans fat per serving and still be advertised as being “trans-fat free.” Argh! That makes me mad, if you eat a ½ gram here and a ½ gram there it’s going to add up (quickly.) So I pay close attention to ingredients and avoid anything that says hydrogenated, partially hydrogenate or interesterified. I also stay away from High Fructose Corn Syrup. Yuck.
Overall I think the SimpleNutrition program is useful. I got a giggle when I hit the produce section. It kind of cracked me up to see labels on fruit and vegetables…because personally I love all fruits and vegetables, especially because they don’t need ingredient lists (ingredients=apple). But if these tags get people to buy more produce because they are now informed that an apple is a good source of fiber…then more power to them!
As a thank you for trying out the program, I got two $25 gift cards to Safeway! Sweet! I thought about keeping them for myself (yeah, I’m a little selfish sometimes), but that didn’t seem right. I thought about giving them away to a blog reader (which could be very fun). But ultimately decided that there are so many people in need in my immediate community that I had to do the right thing and pass it on. Therefore, these two gift cards are headed to AFAC: Arlington Food Assistance Center. I’ll be selfish another time.