Price vs. ingredients has become my biggest battle these days at the grocery store. The more I become aware of what’s in the foods we consume, the higher our grocery bill becomes. Sure, I’d like to eat a strictly whole food and organic diet, but let’s be honest here, many of our wallets just don’t allow that.
It’s a constant challenge coming up with menus that are creative, healthy, and typically pretty inexpensive. I enjoy this challenge, and I think I am pretty good at it, although, where do we draw the line?
Going to the grocery store is typically something I enjoy. Not today. As I stood in the canned goods aisle holding a box of pureed tomatoes in one hand, a can in the other, and reading the ingredients and comparing the prices, I couldn’t help but feel stressed over my decision of which one to choose. Do I choose price over ingredients? Or the other way around? The box was slightly more, although, it only contained one ingredient: tomatoes. The can on the other hand was $2.00 cheaper, contained several more ingredients, and was in a can, which is an immediate red flag in itself. What I should have done was put them both down, head back to the produce section, grab my own tomatoes, and puree them myself. This is what I usually do. Now that I type this, I honestly can’t think of why I didn’t. Too distracted by my dilemma I guess. So back to my point…
As I stood there debating on which one to choose (I chose the box by the way), I asked myself, where do we draw the line with the grocery items we buy?
When a pound of chicken becomes cheaper than a pound of broccoli, you know there’s a problem. I used to buy what was the cheapest, while still maintaining a well-balanced and well-rounded menu. Once I started educating myself more about the things that go into our foods, the ingredients label became the front-runner.
They say ignorance is bliss. Well, it’s true I guess, but do we really want to be ignorant about the things we are putting into our bodies? Jacob and I eat a near vegetarian diet as it is. Red meat has pretty much been eliminated, while we eat chicken and fish maybe once or twice a week. I’m slowly switching to more organic items, while learning which ones are a waste to spend extra money on.
My trip didn’t get any better after the tomato debacle. I seemed to have debated with almost every food item I picked up after that, continually asking myself, “is it really worth it?” I ended up leaving with a disturbing amount of meat, with only one item being organic. I guess budget won today in the meat arena. I think maybe next week I will shoot for a week of vegan meals. That could be an interesting new challenge. Stay tuned to see who wins in Jennifer vs. the animals. The animals I hope…