The Top 3 Grocery Store Gimmicks & How To Avoid Them
Let’s talk about the epidemic of gimmicks that now plague our world of produce. Are superfoods really that super? Are GMOs really bad? Is bone broth really broth?
Enough questions, let’s dive in.
The Reality Of Superfoods
Starting off with superfoods. Does anyone actually know what superfoods actually are?
A quick Google search and you find article upon article with lists of five to ten superfoods that if eaten in plenty will boost your health and make you an immortal god.
Heres the thing…
Broccoli is super good for you.
So is quinoa, lentils, cherries, pomegranate, and bananas. It, however, doesn’t make them superfoods.
Well not in the way that marketing has lead many to believe anyway. All produce you find in a grocery store is a superfood based on the definition of superfood.
***(By the way, according to Dictionary.com, superfood is defined as “a food considered exceptionally good for one’s health and for boosting the immune system owing to its naturally high content of vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, or omega-3 fatty acids”)***
That being said your average Naval Orange is a superfood. Save yourself a lot of time, energy, and money and stay away from this buzzword as it is just a marketing tactic to get you to spend a little bit more on avocados.
Pro tip: Find out what is seasonal. Seasonal produce is cheaper, tastes better, and is packed full of superfoody nutrients. Don’t buy cherries out of season even if they are a superfood. They will taste bland, and won’t have the same nutritional value as they would if they were is season.
The Infinite Fear Of GMOS
GMOs are not as scary as the world has made them out to be.
Yes I know I may get a lot of flack for this one but I have to get this giant elephant out of the room.
Genetically Moddified Organisms are all around us. We are genetically modified via nature.
Fun Fact Time: About 70% of a sea urchins genes have a human gene counterpart. That makes Sea Urchins our genetic cousins.
The big issue that comes from GMOs is that “Carrots arnt supposed to be that big!” No. Maybe not. But nature is constantly passing genes through bacteria from one species to another every second of every day. Some of those genes stick, some do not. This is a natural proccess.
So who is to say that those carrots wouldnt eventually have gotten that big anyway. By all counts of scientific studies, GMOs are considered safe to eat and healthy. Not one shred of evidence has been found to disprove this fact.
So what makes GMOs scary?
Many of you that are have a hard stance against GMOs say that it is bad because modern GMOs happen in a lab rather than the natural proccess. Yes this is true, but here is the flaw:
Humans have been playing the genetics game for about ten thousand years. Ever since agriculture has been around we have been breeding, pollinating, and germinating newer and better plants and animals for consumption. The grains you eat today are no where near the same as the grains we ate a thousand years ago. All of this was made possible because humans learned how to cross pollinate plants, even your organic farmers still use this tactic today to get the very best cucumbers.
Here is some advice to help you navigate the GMO world.
If you are still against GMOs thats fine but I dont advise you break the bank to stay away from them. I always encourage buying local and seasonal produce, so buy what you can that is local and seasonal.
However, dont grab the broccoli that is triple the price because it is labeled as non GMO. GMO broccoli is still very safe and healthy to eat and the only diffrence between the non GMO and the GMO broccoli is the time it took to create such a large head of broccoli. You will always get the better deal, and better nutrition from produce that is local and seasonal.
Pesticides are an organic lovers worst nightmare, but did you know you can bypass a lot of the over priced organic labels by simply knowing what produce items are actually contaminated with the worst pesticides?
Amazingly enough there is a good amount of produce that isnt “organic” per say, but doesnt really have a crazy amount of pesticides either. There are 2 lists to help you figure out what produce you should always buy organic if you fear pesticides. One is called the Dirty Dozen, which consists of the 12 “dirtiest” produce items you can buy, and the Clean 15, which consists of the 15…. Yes…. Cleanest produce items you can buy at the grocery store.
These wonderful resources are provided by The Environmental Working Group. This wonderful organization does a lot of great research and provides a lot of up to date information on agriculture news. Go check them out.
Moral of the story. Dont always believe the label. Sometimes companies will add hot buzzwords to get you to buy more at a high price.
Why not take some time before you go to the grocery store and find out what is worth the extra cost versus what is labeled unneccisarily. Sometimes buzzwords are scary and sometimes they are exciting, but make sure you take all of them with a grain of Organic, Non-GMO, Low Sodium, Sugar Free, Superfood salt, and do a quick google search.
Last Minute Pro Tip!
Almost all groery stores have a weekly advertisment.
There are produce items listed on this that are considered “profit loss items”. When you see cabbage at $0.50 a pound or avacados at 2 for a $1. Buy that and plan your meals around these amazing deals, but be aware this is a tactic the grocery stores use to get you in the store to buy more expensive items while you browse around so do your best to not get sucked into this! Except for maybe the Oreos. I swear I will only eat the 2 cookie serving size a day……….
A Little About The Author
This post was crafted by the awesome Anthony. Anthony is a seasoned chef and expert food extradinaire currently living in NYC.