Guideline to improving ones health

Shopping Guidelines for Real, Health-Promoting Food via articles.mercola.com

As the U.S. agriculture industry now stands, antibiotics, pesticides, genetically engineered ingredients, hormones and countless drugs are fair game for inclusion in your food. So if you purchase your food from a typical supermarket, you’re taking the chance that your food is teeming with chemicals and drugs — even those that have been banned in other countries due to adverse health effects.

So please do your health a favor and support the small family farms in your area. You’ll receive nutritious food from a source that you can trust, and you’ll be supporting the honest work of a real family farm.

It all boils down to this: if you want to optimize your health, you must return to the basics of healthy food choices. Put your focus on WHOLE foods — foods that have not been processed or altered from their original state — food that has been grown or raised as nature intended, without the use of chemical additives, drugs, hormones, pesticides, fertilizers, and “mystery concoctions” of discarded scrap parts.

It’s really as simple as that!

And it’s not nearly as daunting a task as it may seem to find a local farmer that can supply your family with healthy, humanely raised animal products and produce. At LocalHarvest.org, for instance, you can enter your zip code and find farmers' markets, family farms, and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area, all with the click of a button. Once you make the switch from supermarket to local farmer, the choice will seem natural, and you can have peace of mind that the food you’re feeding your family is naturally wholesome. That said, regardless of where you do your grocery shopping, these are the signs of high-quality, health-promoting foods you want to look for: 

  1. It's grown without pesticides and chemical fertilizers (organic foods fit this description, but so do some non-organic foods) 
  2. It's not genetically modified 
  3. It contains no added growth hormones, antibiotics, or other drugs 
  4. It does not contain any artificial ingredients, including chemical preservatives 
  5. It is fresh (keep in mind that if you have to choose between wilted organic produce or fresh conventional produce, the latter may actually be the better option) 
  6. It did not come from a factory farm 
  7. It is grown with the laws of nature in mind (meaning animals are fed their native diets, not a mix of grains and animal byproducts, and have free-range access to the outdoors) 
  8. It is grown in a sustainable way (using minimal amounts of water, protecting the soil from burnout, and turning animal wastes into natural fertilizers instead of environmental pollutants) 

If the food meets these criteria, it is most likely a wise choice, and would fall under the designation of "real food." Keep in mind that reclaiming your kitchen is part and parcel of healthful living, so you know exactly what you're putting in your body. If you need help to get started, see Colleen Huber's helpful tips on how to eat healthier organic food on a budget. And if you're "hooked" on fast food and other processed foods, please review my article How to Wean Yourself Off Processed Foods in 7 Steps. It's one of the absolute most positive life changes you could make!

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