Seeing the world through a different lens

I’ve always loved grocery flyers. I don’t know; I guess I’m just a nerd that way. I remember that once I stopped buying meat at the grocery store (and started buying it from the butcher), I started noticing how much of the average grocery flyer I could just ignore – almost always an entire page or two.

On my last trip to Superstore, having done up a fairly primal meal plan for the week (well, at least not requiring any new non-primal supplies), I was again surprised to notice how much of the store I could just ignore! I’ve generally been a fairly “outside aisle” shopper, but on this occasion, all I had on my list was produce, dairy, fish, and just a few canned goods, condiments, and nuts on my list. I only had to venture down an interior aisle for mustard, coconut milk/water chestnuts/bamboo shoots, and walnuts. No need to go to the bakery for anything. No getting trapped behind oblivious shoppers as they debate which brand of whatever they want. It meant I got in and out of the store pretty quickly, which my little guy was glad about!

Then a couple nights ago, I was picking up a few random things at Sobeys and decided to see what the chocolate section looked like – I like that “fancy” chocolate is available at most grocery and drugstores nowadays. Anyway, in this Sobeys, this section is located at the end of an aisle that’s virtually all candy, rice cakes, fancy crackers, gluten-free (read: rice-based) products, ice cream supplies, etc. As I walked down the aisle I had another mini-epiphany – what if everyone ate Primally? They could condense this particular aisle down to a tenth of the shelf space! (Pretty sure I have not eaten my last Sour Patch Kid or bowl of popcorn, so I’m not going to say they could get rid of the entire aisle.)  It was just a surreal feeling to think – not one of these products could you make at home… it was all so heavily processed and manufactured. (I just requested “Outside the Box: Why Our Kids Need Real Food, Not Food Products” by Canadian journalist Jeannie Marshall from the library. Looks awesome.)

Anyway, when “they” say that PB is about a different way of thinking about food, they’re right. I’m already starting to see things differently.

Aside: I’ve been thinking I should hit up Young’s, a large Asian market in town, one of these days – I already know it’s the best place to get exotic peppers and other Asian produce, but I’m wondering if they have more Aroy-D products, and maybe even the Tetra Pak coconut milk? I also want to check out Gimli Fish…. fish at the grocery store always looks so sad and nasty.

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8 thoughts on “Seeing the world through a different lens

  1. Hi Honey – read most of the first chapter of the book you mention above, and it looks great – when it comes out in paperback I’ll buy it and put it in the Professional collection! Thanks for the tip about Aroy-D coconut milk… Mum XO

  2. Interesting that you should post this. I was just reading this on a natural-remedies-type site (I just bought some oil of oregano so I was reading up on it). Notice the similarities to PB:

    Most Processed Foods Are Not Real Foods!

    To regain and maintain your health all processed food should be eliminated from your diet, particularly the following:

    Sugars.
    Improperly prepared grains, seeds and legumes.
    Soy and soybean derived products.
    Genetically Modified Foods
    It wasn’t until the 20th century that food production and processing became industrialized. Prior to that time diseases that are prevalent today were largely unknown. Industrialization has ushered in many foods that aren’t “real,”as Frank Forncich writes in his article, Is it Foods?:

    “The single most important thing we need to know about nutrition in the modern world is how to recognize the difference between food and food products.

    Food
    – grown
    – messy
    – variable quality
    – goes bad fast
    – requires preparation
    – vibrant colors, rich textures
    – authentically flavorful
    – strong connection to land and culture

    Food Products
    – produced, manufactured
    – neat, convenient
    – always the same
    – keeps forever
    – instant results
    – dull, bland
    – artificially flavorful
    – no connection to land or culture
    He makes these suggestions to help you distinguish between “real food” and food products:

    If it didn’t exist until after 1903 (when the hydrogenation process was invented), it’s probably not a “real food.”
    It it’s wrapped in layers of plastic, cardboard and foil, it’s probably not food.
    If it requires heavy advertising to sell it, it’s probably not food.
    In other words, “real foods” are foods direct from nature, which were consumed by our ancestors for eons, long before the industrialization of our food supply.

    • The reminders seem to obvious, but really…. sometimes it’s hard to accept that FOOD doesn’t last all that long in the fridge. And that’s what makes it FOOD! Things like crackers seem so innocuous, but really, how creepy is it that something can sit in a box for a year in the pantry and still taste basically the same? Very!

      I think the tricky thing is that some processed foods do have a connection to culture – at least in concept, because we are so used to eating them… think, popcorn at the movies. Chips at parties. Hotdog day at school. Of course, there are plenty of ways to work around this, but they are really entrenched in our daily lives.

      • True…it’s really hard for me to think differently about some of these things, too. But I’m starting to understand a lot more, just because something might be heavily entrenched in (any particular) culture, doesn’t mean it’s ok/good/healthy.

        And these days, more and more people are starting to think a lot more about these things, it’s not just the “PB or Paleo community”, but many other groups of folks too. I keep hearing of new books coming out that reflect these concerns about food, and interviews on the radio, etc. It’s going to become more widespread, I think, but unfortunately, I’m sure there will always be companies making disgusting products, people buying them, and marketing/govt. telling us to buy them.

      • I know… did you see the “Fast Franks” on Weighty Matters today? There’s something seriously wrong with your life if the idea of a pre-packaged hot dog complete with bun that can be microwaved in 35 seconds is appealing to you. This sort of garbage is practically criminal. But really, did I expect anything less from the company that brought Lunchables to the world?

        But you’re right; I think it is becoming more widespread. And cutting out processed foods – even if you’re still eating grains and whatnot – is still a giant step ahead!

  3. No, hadn’t seen that—barf. Lol, Norm loves hot dogs, but I’m sure something like fast franks would gross him out.

    Totally agree re: your last comment there. Along a similar vein, it was encouraging to me to read, when I started PB, that if you implement these diet changes, even if you aren’t doing “all organic, grass-fed, highest quality” food (that is, still buying conventionally-grown food)—that you’ll still be light years ahead of most people in terms of health. I need to remember that so that I don’t get obsessed with it…which is not helpful or healthy either. Sometimes it’s a little hard, the more that I learn about how gross everything is, to not get bogged down with the idea of having to get the best quality of everything and cutting out everything that’s somewhat suspect. Buying the best quality is ideal, but not always realistic/attainable. So even if I’m buying something that’s one level “under” the best of what I could get because it’s cheaper, if it’s within PB, it’s still a great choice!

  4. Pingback: Food culture and breastfeeding | Primal in the 'Peg

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