Ahem, regarding real food. “Health food” if you will. I have something to say:
Eating a diet consisting of whole, real foods doesn't have to be expensive.
That's right. I said it.
However, if you head to the health food store to “stock up”, you will be suckered into trendy food that will be not only processed – but expensive. Don't do that. Instead, opt for the rawest form of the food you can find. This will tend to save you money! Examples: Whole oats vs. packaged oatmeal. Wheat to make your own crackers, bread, pizza dough, & cakes vs. prepackaged brands. Raw grains and veggies to make your own soups vs. canned brands. A whole fryer chicken (meat to eat, bones and skin to make broth) vs. store bought broth. Tons of fruits and vegetables vs. a multivitamin.
If you take foods back to its primary level, you tend to end up right where you should be. Changing the way you eat is a process! It has to happen slowly and gradually in order to produce any sort of lasting results. You have to learn to not only love food, but also love what it can do for your body – and how to best utilize it!
If any of you out there, in that large Internet void, are looking to change the way you eat for the better, than don't be discouraged! Good, whole food doesn't have to cost you an arm and a leg. You just gotta know what to get and where to find it.
That being said, meet Azure Standard.
Azure Standard is a wonderful co-op that distributes high quality whole foods all around the northwest. Even if you are one of my east coast readers, do not fret! While Azure (specifically) may not serve your area, I bet you there is a co-op that does! Ask around. Search the web. Find the goods, baby!
We are lucky here in Washington to be served by Azure – they are a great company. Good products. Good prices. And not only do they provide every kind of bulk food imaginable (health food, that is), but they also conveniently deliver via drop points. So that when I have an order weighing in at over a hundred pounds, it still costs me less than $10 to ship it.
Can't beat that.
Azure has been a critical tool that we have utilized as we continually go about building up our food storage. Yes, as you are well aware, it is a process. Little by little, I have been attempting to buy an extra little bit here and there. And slowly, but surely, it's beginning to build up! With prices like $4.10 for five pounds of baking soda, $24.85 for fifty pounds of wheat, $11 for a gallon of raw vinegar, and $4.35 for five pounds of barley, you can see that buying in bulk can really pay off!
At the moment, I am working on building up food that we actually use everyday. Things like honey, olive oil (rotating stock is important, as this goes rancid!), coconut oil, oats, and wheat are staples for us. But we have also been stocking up on beans, quinoa, barley, millet, coconut, canned tomatoes (till we get our crop this year!), lentils, rice, carob powder, etc.
On a side note, after the horrible devastation in the South following the tornadoes (which just followed on the tail-end of the earthquake in Japan), it seems all the more important to have food ready for such an event. While security can only be found in God, preparedness can surely make a difference should disaster strike. Having enough food to at least get by for a little while could make a big difference for your family!
Back to my point: there are ways around the extraordinarily high “health food” prices. Don't let that discourage you from beginning to take your whole food journey!
No, buying this food is not going to be as cheap as buying white sugar and pre-milled, generic brand flour from your grocery store. But that's okay. It's just a matter of re-prioritizing. And while that is an entire post for another day, let me leave you with this thought – we tend to always have the money for the things that are our priorities. Doctor bills ain't cheap either, baby.
So get out there! Find those whole-food-good-deals. Hunt them down like a…hunter. Or something.
Sometimes, it just takes some extra investigation and work! But we would never let that scare us away, now would we?
Didn't think so, soldier! Bring it on.
What have YOU been doing to take steps towards a real food diet?