top of page

What foods should I buy???MASS/COMMERCIALLY PROCESSED FOODS ~ Tips to identify.

Updated: Jan 5

Michael Pollan, a highly regarded American author, journalist and television activist, writes about how we should be weary about consuming "foodstuff", the mass commercialized processed machine foods that line our supermarket isles.

Think about the foods you eat on a regular basis. How fresh are they? Are they preserved? Did they come from a box? A bag? Do you know whether the 'food' has been prepared by a person versus a machine?- Does that matter?


Refers to items that are being advertised as food, but pretty far from the original ingredients. Foodstuff is refined, fortified, includes ingredients from a lab, pasteurized, irritated, preserved, sitting in front of us no longer as fresh food, but rather food STUFF. Perhaps appealing via marketing, flashy colours, slogans and a deliciously perfect, and researched, flavour triad of fat, sugar and salt.

Why is this foodstuff important to identify? Our body is hungry for nutrients and many nutrients are naturally present in fresh foods, the longer we wait after harvesting a food, the more nutrients are degraded and lost.

Food stuff satisfy our initial cravings but don't carry the natural balance of nutrients, enzymes, bacteria, fibre and water to assist our body throughout balanced digestion. This is why I can down a whole bag of chips, or a whole sleeve of Oreo's and only notice once the gut ache occurs that -oh snap- I just ate too much!

Consistent consumption of food stuff can leave the body malnourished of nutrients naturally found in whole fresh foods, and it's these nutrients that our body needs for optimal functioning.

For example: upon the introduction to refining foods, wide spread deficiency symptoms across the population is what drove the need to fortify some of our most commonly consumed ingredients- e.g. white flour.

So perhaps, here are my thoughts- the rise in degenerative/auto immune, cancers, respiratory, dis-ease as a whole, is in part due to our population's increasing dependence and ignorant consumption of food stuff, rather, than whole fresh foods?

A lack of base education of how to use fresh ingredients TO CREATE a meal or cure an ailment is a basic downfall of our upcoming generations. I think this is valuable to our society in terms of the long-term health of the population. Pair this with pharmaceuticals and advances in technology, not instead of?

Let's learn to boil ginger root first, because as we are seeing, quick over-the-counters might not always be available! Let's not be absolutely reliant on our rapidly growing grid. Let's rely on the security of our own foundation of knowledge.

How to identify food stuff:

Mass / commercially processed foods have time and time again proven their passion for money over the health of their consumers. We have seen this across many consumer product industries, beauty, tobacco, clothing, and food, where companies use the most economical ingredients, and use of chemicals, preservatives, and additives.

Ingredients we can watch out for on our food labels:

See, I used to have a list here of all the things I don't like to see on a label. But honestly there is a time and a place for everything in my opinion.

I don't want to insight fear here or absolutes. Generally I like labels with words I recognize, and ingredients I could realistically have in my own home.

Another great way to shop is minimally, using up fresh stuff as it comes. We like to "shop the perimeter" of the grocery store and hit up specialty shops such as butcher shoppes, bakeries and farmer's markets. I get excited to make our own versions of our favourite foods, finding relaxation in experimentation, meal creation etc. / finding sweet brands and small shops that bring real food to our community.

QUALITY over QUANITY is something I always try to remember when we are shopping. Also- do we need this, have we used up what we already have?

Thanks for reading,


bottom of page