I remember that slicing through my head with a healthy dose of sarcasm and derision. It was the early 2000s and I was talking to someone who claimed to exclusively eat grass fed meat and the byproducts like butter and eggs. This person wasn’t Paleo by any means, they had only undertaken to start eating from local sources. I had grown up in a town with some very elitist tendencies and I wasn’t part of the elite. I had learned from a very early age to be skeptical and dismissive. Sometimes it served me well and sometimes it turned me off to some very interesting and innovative ideas.
I’m so glad I grew out of that.
I recognize today that demanding more from the food you eat isn’t just a elitist ideal, it’s our responsibility as consumers. Wanting good food that nourishes your family and doesn’t harm you shouldn’t be a chore. The easiest step all of us can take is to make a commitment to start making more of the things we eat. That doesn’t mean we have to all start shopping at Whole Foods or abandon our local supermarket en masse. What it does mean is that you start banishing the prepackaged foods. Want an easy tip for how to do that? The next time you go grocery shopping, stay out of the middle aisles. If you can get through a shopping trip staying on the outside aisles you’re doing very good. That means you only shopped in fruits and vegetables, meats, and dairy. Of course you might have to nip down the baking aisle but we’ll forgive you that.
The end goal is to abandon the supermarket completely but that just isn’t feasible for some. Not everyone lives near a farmer’s market or local producer that sells to the public. I’m lucky to live in an area with a daily city market and two well respected weekly farmer’s markets in the cities to either side of me. My next step is going to these markets as much as possible to buy the food I eat. If you want to find a local producer in your area, a good place to start is Eat Wild. Its primarily a directory of grass fed meat producers but you could probably find vegetables at many of these places as well.
So if someone calls you a food snob for the way you eat, just smile and say thank you. If caring about what you put in your body and those of your loved ones makes you a snob, come join the growing number of us. People are starting to demand more from the food they eat and you should too.