Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A little help

First, I'm halfway through (give or take) about 5 pins as we speak. And I keep adding to the DO IT NOW pinboard. My name is Jana and I have a problem.

Anyway, what I really want to talk about is a bit of a downer. But, it's been on my mind a lot this week. Food. I grew up on Hamburger Helper and fried this or that (no offense mom). On both sides of the family food was a constant. We lived the typical Southern "you aren't happy unless you're well fed" mentality.

Fast forward to me feeding my own family and everything is organic with a touch of Chick-Fil-A and the Mexican place down the street. I painstakingly make dinner every night to the best of my recipe following ability. I want to like what I make, but I also want Seth and Lila to LOVE it. This never happens. Seth usually likes it. Lila usually doesn't. I have gone to great lengths to make things for Lila that she will eat that have real, wholesome ingredients. I make things into pancakes and cupcakes in the hopes that she will be fooled that the pancakes are made of zucchini and the cupcakes are made of quinoa (all of which are from Pinterest!). She's not. In fact, I could feed a small country with the amount of frozen items I have in my freezer right now that I made for her that she hated. Truth be told, I didn't much care for them either or they would be eaten already. I read "real food" blogs and look over their recipes that they say their kids love. Granted, I have a seriously picky eater. But still. I feel like something, someday will have to work.

Regardless, the state of the food industry baffles and disgusts me on a daily basis. I spent five minutes a few weeks ago fully convinced we were going vegan (I'm sorry Crystal...I can't do it). That's how much it distresses me. Truthfully, before I had kids I didn't care. Or maybe I just didn't know the immense amount of information I am privy to now. Either way, I would say ignorance is bliss. But then I would unknowingly be eating things like this.

I am trying to come to an agreement with myself about how I will raise my children in regards to food. I eat well now, but I am an overeater. However, I would rather overeat healthy foods than eat minimal amounts of garbage. Just sayin'. I want my girls to know what the super foods are that people in general don't buy. Maybe those things will be mainstream someday. One can dream.

So far, my agreement is that Whole Foods may have to be my new stomping ground. I simply can't do meat that's not organic anymore. More than that, I feel like most things need to be organic. But, I also can't go without meat because then I would be making two meals every night. I married a meat and veggies man. CSA's aren't accessible enough for me. My gardening skills suck (but I'm trying it again this year anyway!). The problem is, when I go in Whole Foods I feel conflicted. There's a sense of "does everyone know I can't afford to really shop here?" mixed with "I want to buy everything" with a healthy dose of "is it really necessary to buy organic flour at $9 a bag?". Ugh.

I've tried to shop at Kroger because they have a decent organic section. But their meats are awful. It then ends up that I am going here, there, and everywhere to get what I need at a price I can stomach.

My question to you is, if you lean towards the road to crunchy where do you shop? How do you do it? I'm willing to fork over the extra money for food that isn't laced with ammonia and/or hormones that comes from animals that aren't tortured. I guess I just need some input on how others handle it. Maybe you have suggestions or shopping tips that would make my life easier...?


  1. Oh man, if I wrote a post about food choices this would be it. I started cooking because I was getting tired of Hamburger Helper as a kid.

    And my husband doesn't think its a meal if there isn't meat. I have a couple of mostly meatless go-to dinners that we do a couple times a month - like carbonara (with bacon) and rice and beans (with a little pork) and in general I try to serve less meat and bigger portions of side vegetables and starches.

    I pretty exclusively shop at Publix, their Greenwise meats seem to be pretty reasonably priced for the quality. They even sell Springer Mountain Chicken, which is local and organic even if they have Paula Deen for a spokeswoman. We could not afford WF for all of our grocery needs (I swear, I go in for one or two things and end up with $50 worth of nothing I needed) but you could always shop for meat there every few weeks and freeze it when you get home, a little less running around that way. Costco or Sam's might be another place to look at for doing the same thing.

    We share a CSA at work from Moore Farm and friends. They have a Thursday pick-up location in Tucker that might work for you. What is awesome about their CSA program is you can purchase custom choice order and pick things your family will actually eat. I think theirs a fee to join and a minimum order, but its worth looking into.

    The only conclusion I've drawn is that its about balance and being in intention. You might not always serve organic, whole grain, homemade everything at each meal, but you are cooking for your family and sharing a meal with them and thats the most important thing.

  2. This really isn't probably convenient for you, but Publix opened a Greenwise store at Town Brookhaven. 40% of their offerings are organic -- and more reasonably priced than WF or FM. My favorite part is that you get your "regular" lower-priced groceries and the organic stuff at one spot.

  3. I feel your pain, Corey and I try to eat really well, we always have. Unfortunately, eating well usually costs $$. Food is our highest bill after our's almost tied with childcare on the amount we spend a month! Some would say that's too much, but we really try to not eat junk. It's been a little harder with Isabel because for some reason we've found it harder to cook "good" food before it's time to get her to bed.
    I usually buy as much as I can Greenwise from Publix, but honestly...I shop at Whole Foods a lot. I've found that many of their items are actually cheaper than at Publix and Kroger. Not so much on meats and fish...but I truly believe that the meats are a higher quality there...kind of a you get what you pay for. We also try to eat meat free a couple times a week. We're in love with a few meatless products from Gardein and Yves. We actually prefer to use Yves Meatless Ground instead of ground beef in tacos and spaghetti.
    I'm pretty crazy about salads...we buy the organic bagged 365 salads from Whole Foods, they are only $1.99 a bag, compared to $3.99 a bag for Fresh Express not organic at Publix!!! Also- you can't beat Whole Food's selection of organic's just the best I've found around town.
    Bottom isn't cheap but I feel like eating well is important so for me it's worth it! :)


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