by Rachel Saunders
Choosing to use more whole foods is a wise health decision. Not only are whole foods more nutritious, they can be one of the simpler steps you can take to improve your family’s overall health.
One of the best places to get whole foods is to grow them yourself. Whether you plant a huge garden plot, or just a few containers, your family can enjoy the freshest vegetables and fruit. As a bonus, young picky eaters may be more willing to try something new from “our own garden.” Furthermore, you can try different varieties, and may find some that have much better flavor than what you can get in the store.
You can also get vegetables or fruits from family members or friends who have gardens.
Another excellent source is your local Farmer’s Market. They may offer varieties you can’t get anywhere else, and prices may be better then the grocery store.
Some local flea markets have one or more produce vendors, and their prices are usually well below the grocery store. Toward the end of the day, you may be able to score some real bargains, because the vendor won’t want to carry it back home to spoil before the next market day.
Some areas are blessed with roadside produce stands. They typically offer a wide variety of foods, but probably won’t carry the same products all the time. The inventory will vary with what’s in season.
Your local grocery store will offer a more consistent inventory. However, the best prices will be on the locally grown produce in season. You will be charged more for out-of-season, distantly grown produce that has to be packaged and shipped to them.
Your local superstore will also maintain a consistent inventory at varying price levels. But not everything in the produce section qualifies as a “whole food”. Even some of these products may be subject to processing. One example is “baby carrots”. While some may actually be baby carrots, others are processed by cutting, forming, and sometimes using additives to color or preserve them.
Specialty stores or co-ops are usually found in urban areas. Prices at the specialty stores may be higher. Co-ops have lower prices, but commonly have membership requirements. Those requirements may be financial (a membership fee) or physical — doing volunteer labor for the co-op, which could be anything from stocking shelves to helping with paperwork orworking so many hours as a cashier.
Whole foods are easy to find, good for you, and very economical!