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Grocery Getting: What We Eat

July 8, 2011

Last week I found a great story on the Food Matters website about photos taken for a book titled Hungry Planet: What the World Eats. The story shared a photographic exploration of what people are eating in different parts of the world. According to Food Matters, each picture shows the members of one family among one week’s worth of food purchases.  If you haven’t seen this yet, I highly recommend you take a look.

As my husband & I looked through all the pictures our initial impression was that many of these families buy a ton of food. It looked like a lot more than what we buy for our family of 4 each week. We also felt like most of these families buy an awful lot of packaged, processed food. This concerns me because of the health and the environmental implications. The amount of sugary drinks was alarming too! Of course, the most obvious things we noticed were that the more developed countries had the least healthy and most environmentally damaging diets.

Seeing these photos made me want to take an overall look at what my family eats on a weekly basis. I like to think I feed us well, but I wondered how it would look when I lay it all on the table. Do we eat more than I think we do? What about processed food and packaging? How do we do there?

I shop for our groceries at Wal-mart, the local food co-op, and the farmer’s market . Prices at the co-op are pretty high, and I wish I could do all of our shopping there, but I don’t have $300 a week to spend on food. Shopping the lower prices at Wal-mart frees up more cash for me to spend at the co-op. I’ve also been buying more bulk, and planning meals around what is on sale at the co-op; this stretches our dollars a bit farther.

Well, here it is. One week’s worth of groceries for my family:

So, how did we do? I think there is forever work to do on reducing product packaging, but I do reuse & recycle nearly all of our packaging. **I have to note that the hotdogs & hotdog buns are not typical for us. They were for a 4th of July cookout. We like to eat healthy, but we’re not food nazis!!!

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