The abundance in supermarkets has long made it possible to forget about the days of scarcity. However, in an ocean of bright packages, countless promotions and special offers, it’s hard to find truly high-quality food for reasonable money. On how to navigate in an ocean of abundance and where to buy natural products, we share our useful experience.
Natural foods must be grown in an area that is in environmentally friendly areas, without excessive use of chemicals. There is no clear definition of “natural”, but there is a generally accepted classification of appropriate terminology:
- Organic – natural, grown in an area that is considered a healthy ecological zone, under natural conditions (no greenhouses or greenhouses);
- organic – grown or obtained without the use of genetic modification and chemical fertilizers;
- non-violent – most commonly labeled animal products. Means a free-range animal that has been fed exclusively organic feed.
Products in the supermarket that can be classified as “natural” are often on separate racks or sections. But sometimes they can also be located among the regular products. So how do you protect yourself from a bad purchase? The first rule is to be sure to pay attention to the packaging and composition.
Often you can see the label “non-GMO” on the package. Many people prefer such products. But, unfortunately, many suppliers take advantage of customers’ illiteracy and put such labels even on products in which genetic engineering cannot be used by definition, such as regular salt.
Products without transgenes are quite difficult to choose on their own, because not everyone indicates such information on the packaging, and some deliberately indicate untruthful information. To exclude ingestion of unnecessary substances in your body, it is worth to be guided by the regularly updated list of Greenpeace, where this organization lists all producers and classifies them according to the degree of use of genetically modified raw materials.
However, healthy products are not only those that do not contain GMOs and have not been treated with excessive amounts of fertilizers. Transportation and storage conditions of finished products are also very important. It is worth noting that responsible retailers monitor this process and do not allow spoiled or expired products to appear on their shelves.
Choosing natural foods in stores
How can you be sure that the purchase is safe? First of all, you should carefully read the packaging, quality products will have all the required information on it: composition, shelf life and manufacturing features. For example, “TU” means compliance with the technical conditions of manufacture, which are developed by the manufacturer. They are not necessarily worse than gost: here it all depends on conscience and reputation. Some set even higher requirements in their shops than the gosts, which often came to us.
The compliance with state standards, listed in the relevant document, the number of which must also be specified. If you really care about the quality of food you eat, it is worth familiarizing yourself with the content of the most common standards of the food industry.
The fashion for a healthy lifestyle makes many unscrupulous manufacturers cheat. For example, to indicate that the product is produced without genetically modified treatment, in the case when it is not used in principle. At the same time, almost all corn, soybeans and cotton grown nowadays are genetically engineered products and it is already very difficult to find unmodified varieties.
Labeling: trust but verify
We also often see “no cholesterol” labels. Here, too, there is a great deal of room for not quite correct information for consumers. For example, vegetable oil, regardless of the manufacturer, in principle cannot contain cholesterol. It is found exclusively in animal products.
At the same time, in order to avoid the accumulation of “bad” cholesterol it is necessary to avoid consuming trans fats and carbohydrates, and on the contrary, to consume more fiber, pectins, polyunsaturated fatty acids, microelements and vitamins. Therefore, try to buy as much fresh fruit and vegetables as possible, preferably grown in your area, because they retain the maximum of useful substances.
It is trans fats that have a negative impact on the body. Most of them are contained in confectionary fat. Therefore, read labels of confectionery carefully, try to buy products from reputable manufacturers, and minimize the consumption of industrial sweets.
Looking for natural
Many manufacturers label their products with “eco”, “bio”, and “organic” labels. There are no legal norms and standards describing such products and conditions of their production. Several commercial companies are engaged in issuing of such certificates. Some farmers and producers are seeking an international certificate to enter the market. In any case, it is better to get acquainted additionally with who and on what basis issued.
It is worth noting that large retail chains necessarily check the vegetables and fruits supplied to them for the level of pesticides and nitrates. Therefore, you should buy fresh fruits and vegetables in retail chains, not in the market, where there is no such control, and you can easily sell products that do not meet the standards.