Tag Archives: grocery shopping

Why Do (or Don’t) We Eat Healthy Food?

The minds behind Sullivan Higdon & Sink’s (SHS) FoodThink are at it again, and this time they’re taking a good look at the how and why of eating healthy. Their new white paper, “Our Appetite for Healthy Eating,” covers everything from attitudes about healthy foods to our attempts to eat right.

healthy choices

According to research conducted by SHS, 61 percent of Americans make the commitment to eat healthy. Of course, there’s a lot of variation in that claim.

From “Our Appetite for Healthy Eating”: Organic shoppers, for instance, are 31-percent more likely to say they’re committed to healthy eating. On the other hand, those who believe their cooking skills to be sub-par are 13-percent less likely to say they’re committed to healthy eating.

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Supersize Your Salad: How Better Value May Lead to Better Health

Supersizing—though the official term, created by McDonald’s in the 1990s, has disappeared from fast food places, the concept never really left. Consumers will still purchase, and generally eat more food if they feel like they are getting a better deal.

grocery shopping

“We know the health implications of a giant latte or supersized fries, so a little justification through feeling financially savvy and saving money makes us feel better about our decision and increases consumption,” said Kelly L. Haws, a marketing researcher Vanderbilt at Vanderbilt University.

Haws is part of a research team that recently found consumers aren’t just looking for deals on unhealthy fast food meals. In fact, Haws and co-author Karen Winterich found that the supersizing effect works just as well on healthier food choices.

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Whole Foods Severs Ties With Chobani, Citing GMO Concerns

It’s another blow for Chobani as the year draws to an end. The popular Greek yogurt company will no longer be sold at Whole Foods stores starting in early 2014.

This move by Whole Foods is unrelated to the Chobani recall that happened earlier this year. In September, more than 100 people became ill after eating yogurt that had been contaminated due to Mucor circinelloides, a mold commonly found in dairy. Though frequently used to produce natural flavor compounds, the mold had been causing products to swell and bloat.

whole foods market

Chobani powered through the recall without much fallout and looked to a smooth end to a year that saw Greek yogurt making up 50 percent of all yogurt sales. That changed last Wednesday when Whole Foods announced they would no longer sell Chobani yogurt.

Whole Foods has said this decision is due to its desire to sell more non-GMO and organic yogurts. Chobani produces Greek yogurt made with milk from cows which are often fed GMO feed.

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Highly Evolved: The New Grocery Shopper is Savvy, Cavalier and Frugal

Halloween may be over, but in the coming weeks, grocery stores across the country are going to become terrifying places. Hordes of shoppers will flock to supermarkets to stock up on sundries for Thanksgiving, Christmas and a myriad of other holiday soirees. If the clinking and clanking of steel in the aisles seems to be a bit more cacophonous this year, that’s probably because most shoppers are searching for deals on their smart phones.

Shopping Cart

Our friends at advertising agency Sullivan, Higdon, and Sink (SHS) put together an illuminating white paper on the subject, and found that smart phones, privacy issues and food packaging have changed the check-out game. Shoppers are using phones to find the best coupons and are increasingly more cavalier with what personal information they share.

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Why You Should Absolutely Shop Sam’s and Costco for Healthy Eating on a Budget

For six ounces of raspberries, that usually mold in a day or two, I pay my grocer $4.00. This seems ludicrous, and so raspberries are a “treat” that we get on sale occasionally. My grocery budget is admittedly larger than a lot of families, but it still has a strict cap and has to go a long way.

About six months ago, I visited the Big Box Warehouse Store in my city to pick up something with a friend. I was shocked. Those same raspberries, in a package three times the size, were the same price. And the kicker? They were organic. And I found that to be the case over and over.

raspberries
I almost exclusively buy my fruits and vegetables at this warehouse store now, along with a number of other items that are always on our “healthy” grocery list. I get them at a fraction of the cost, and when anyone is trying to stretch their dollar further at the grocery store, less cost and more food is always a win.

Yes, the total at the end of your receipt might be higher than what you typically pay, but don’t let that initial sticker shock weigh you down. Remember, you’re getting at least two or three times the food for that price. Where you couldn’t buy raspberries every week before, now you can. And it doesn’t stop at the berries.

Last year, Lisa Johnson conducted an experiment to feed her family on a poverty level budget exclusively at Whole Foods for 30 days. She pulled it off, with wine and money to spare. Just imagine what you could accomplish with that budget at a place like Sam’s or Costco, both of which accept SNAP, or food stamps.

We’ll share with you our shopping tips for navigating the store and getting the most out of your time and money. As well, we’ll share with you the healthiest must-have food items there (at least at our location). (more…)

5 Ways to Make Your Community a Healthier Place to Call Home

One of my favorite books is The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest. Author Dan Buettner looks at areas in the world, dubbed Blue Zones, with large populations of people who live past 100.

He’s taken their life lessons to create The Power 9. These nine habits create a “blueprint” to living a longer and healthier life. The interesting thing is none of the people he studied consciously followed these Power 9 or set a goal to live to be 100. They just did. Their lifestyles and communities were set up to make long life possible.

green hands

Would you say the same of yours?

My community is working on it. We are working on taking the Power 9 principles and making Springfield, MO a healthier place to live. There are a lot of exciting ideas floating around, especially after Buettner’s visit to our fair city this month. In his presentations, he gave us examples of work in other towns (and almost the entire state of Iowa) using the Power 9 to create an environment that supports overall healthy and longevity.

Do you want to make your community a healthier place to live? Here are great ways to get started from his talk: (more…)

3 Meals That are Cheap and Healthy

By Janis Jibrin, M.S., R.D., TheBestLife.com lead nutritionist

Feeling like you’re about to go off your own fiscal cliff after all that holiday spending? No need to settle for cheap junk food to help pay down your credit card bills. The truth is, some of the least expensive foods are also the healthiest.

Here’s my core budget-but-healthy shopping list. (Check out my blog for more lower-cost items.)

Canned beans – dried are even less expensive, but require you to plan ahead
Canned tomatoes – no salt added (the store brand is cheapest)
Canned wild salmon and canned light “chunk” tuna
Dried herbs – whatever is on sale
Fresh fruit – whatever is on sale
Fresh vegetables – whatever is on sale
Oatmeal or steel-cut oats – large carton of plain oats (the store brand is usually cheapest)
Peanut butter
Tofu – for cooking pointers, click here.

The following meals use some of the items listed above. All three of these dollar-stretching dishes are also seriously nutritious.  I calculated the cost of each meal using prices at my local Giant supermarket in Washington D.C.; prices may vary in your area. (more…)

Do We Only Eat What Big Food Tells Us To?

One of the most widely circulated pieces of advice for effective (meaning healthy) grocery shopping is to steer around the perimeter of the store where nutritious foods are traditionally on display. But food makers and the stores that sell their products aren’t happy just to sit still and not try to influence your buying habits.

Food ad spending in the U.S. rests at about $7 billion a year. Not to mention, the Newspaper Association of America reports about $1.5 billion is spent by food companies each year in newspapers and mailed circulars.

Billion with a “b” comes with a pretty hefty influence. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that a UK study found that people alter their meal plan according to what products their grocery store is promoting.

Back Stateside, a new study evaluated the types of foods promoted by supermarkets chains and their corresponding share of advertising space in 2011 sales circulars. The food group that was given the heaviest promotion on the front page of supermarket sales circulars was meat with about 40 percent of the ads. Fruits and vegetables were each given about 10 percent of the sampled advertising space. (more…)

Eco-Friendly Grocery Shopping Guide: What’s Good for You and Mother Earth

By Team Best Life – TheBestLife.com

Isn’t it nice to know that the healthiest choices in the supermarket often happen to be the greenest, too? You can reduce your ecological impact and the impact on your waistline at the same time by adopting a few eco-friendly shopping tips.

For instance, opting for locally grown, seasonal foods is a good way to protect the environment. These foods don’t have to be shipped long distances, so you eliminate some of that fossil fuel use. Another option: Go organic. Organic foods don’t use as many harmful chemicals in their production—the fewer pesticides and antibiotics used, the less impact those foods have on the planet. If eating exclusively organic is too expensive, consider buying only those fruits and vegetables that offer the biggest pesticide savings (click here for the list).

Mother Earth isn’t the only one benefiting from these savvy shopping strategies. These foods usually taste better and are better for you than processed or otherwise environmentally damaging foods. Here are a few more easy shopping tips to keep your body and the earth healthy. (more…)

Eating Healthy on $12 Per Day Food Stamp Budget is Impossible and How the Next President May Make it Worse

Next week presents so many possible changes for our nation as we mark our ballots. Election day could end with a new president lined up to lead the country. A new president impacts huge issues like the soldiers overseas, foreign affairs, and of course the budget. As you vote next week, you will also be determining smaller issues that affect all of us. Who we vote in as our Commander-in-Chief may change what’s served on a large percentage of Americans’ dinner tables.

Frequently called food stamps, our government has a food assistance program called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. The program is income based and designed to help those who are financially struggling. According to Politofact.com, one in seven US families are using the SNAP program. Findings from the Food Research and Action Center state that many families struggle to purchase enough nutritious food before the month’s allotment runs out. Many users cannot afford proper foods for healthy meals and actually have to turn to food pantries to supplement their food needs.

If one out of seven families are currently needing the SNAP program and the current benefits are found to be too little to support a family, what can one expect from our primary candidates on this issue?

Valerie Jarrett is the Senior Advisor to the President Obama. She explained in The White House Blog where he stands on the issue of food assistance.

“…When President Obama took office, he enhanced and expanded the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. The investments we made kept 3.9 million Americans, including 1.7 million children, above the poverty line in 2010. They prevented child hunger from rising, even as poverty and unemployment levels increased in the wake of the economic crisis.”

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities reported on what former Governor Romney may intend to do about the SNAP budget is he were elected. Richard Kogan and Paul N. Van de Water wrote that Romney would cut entitlement and discretionary program budgets. These cuts would mean a reduction in the funds allotted for SNAP. (more…)