I don't think I'm the only one to say this... but there are still things I miss from the pseudo-food aisles and I find I'm ill-equipped to recreate some of those things post-Paleo. I look for recipes, get all excited, see the ingredient list, spot the almond flour/almond milk, cashews, etc. and I want to throw my iPad. Cashews in friggin ranch salad dressing??? Go. bleep. yourself.
This same attitude has been passed on to my grocery shopping. It has, at the same time, become easier and harder. Easier, because I can avoid all other areas of the grocery store except for fruits/veggies and the organic aisles. Harder, because... well... I'm find I'm at the level of "informed" that makes me a wee bit neurotic. If you've ever seen me in Independent or Metro, I'm usually muttering to myself and it goes something like this:
"Oh crap... need coconut milk" *heads toward the organic dairy case for the coconut milk*
"Awww bleep...it may contain traces of almonds" *heads towards the organic aisle with the carton of coconut milk*
"YES!! No nuts! Damn it... it has carrageenan" *heads towards international food aisle for organic canned coconut milk*
"@$#%!!! Guar gum!! WHY??? Screw it... I'll make it myself!" * heads to the baking section and grabs unsweetened shredded coconut*
"May contain traces of peanuts/tree nuts.... FML"
By this time, my left eye is twitching, a fit is brewing, and I'm only on the second item on my list. If you're wondering.. I ended up paying $3.49/can for organic Thai Kitchen coconut milk with the GD guar gum in it!!! I want to spare you the ridiculousness that is my food shopping.
So... for quite some time I have wanted to do a "local" buying guide for Paleo/Primal folks. I think I have found some pretty awesome places that allow me to feed myself and hubby local, grass-fed, and/or organic ingredients for less than $7/person/day! So here goes!!
Grills Orchards (Belleville) - LOVE LOVE LOVE this place! Not only do they carry raw, local honey and fresh apples, they carry frozen meats from local farms. They are super at letting you know whether the met is grass-fed/grain-fed and beyond helpful and friendly!
Limestone Organic Creamery (Kingston) - This is an amazing place! They have an assortment of organic dairy including kefir, milk, cream, and cheese. They also carry a variety of artisanal sausages and stock ground beef that is 90%+ grass-fed. The cows are pastured-raised and are only given corn "as a treat" on rare occasions. As it warms up, they seem to be bringing in fresh produce as well!
Haanover View Farms (Belleville) - An awesome family farm that carries local beef and pork. We get out pork belly from them to make our homemade bacon! The Haan's are wonderful people and can be found at the Belleville Farmer's Market each Saturday.
Earth Haven Farms (Tweed) - A local family farm that carries beef that is organic and grass-fed. They aren't a drop-in kind of place but will take orders of the phone/email.
Chesher Bros Inc. (Frankford) - An awesome family owned farm that raises venison. They also carry local bison and elk meat.
Metro (Trenton) - I find Metro is the best for fresh organic produce. They also carry a much wider variety of canned coconut milk. They do lack in the organic dairy/almond/coconut milk area!
Independent (Trenton) - Metro is great for the organic pantry aisles! They have a variety of frozen organic fruits/veggies as well as things like coconut milk creamer/coconut yogurt. They also carry a lot of allergen free products by Enjoy Life (mini chips that are free of dairy/soy/nuts etc.)
If there are any places that I have missed, please feel free to let me know and I will keep this up-to-date for everyone! Hope this helps!