This shopping guide is intended to help you find the most additive-free versions of the ingredients and products required for the recipes on this website. There are many recommendations for additional self-study included within this guide, as well, for those who would like to research certain topics in more depth.
With the exception of fruits and vegetables, shopping tips are included in this guide for every ingredient used in my recipes. My advice for selecting fresh fruits and vegetables is to give preference to certified organic or local varieties; and avoid “genetically-modified organisms” (GMOs) whenever possible. When selecting store-bought canned or frozen produce, also check the ingredients label and select brands that contain only vegetables or fruit and, possibly, sea salt.
This guide is not an exhaustive list of every food additive that you may encounter. If you see an ingredient on a food label that is not discussed in this guide and you don’t fully understand what the word means, I recommend leaving that product on your grocer’s shelf! As a general rule, if you cannot easily identify every ingredient on a label as having come directly from a plant or an animal in nature, then we do not recommend you purchase the product.
I adhere strictly to an additive-free diet 100% of the time because I experience acute physiological reactions to many food additives. The degree to which you implement this advice is up to you. I’m including all of the information you need to eat as “strictly” as I do. However, depending upon your lifestyle and the foods to which you have access, your choices may be more limited. Do the best you can, and implement this guidance to the degree that suits you best! Many families find it useful to adopt an “80/20 Rule.” They adhere to an additive-free diet 80% of the time, and they allow themselves flexibility with the other 20% of their diet for social events, special occasions, traveling, etc.
The guidelines here are not intended to represent the absolute healthiest diet possible. Rather, they will help you reduce the amount of health-depleting chemical additives in your diet. For example, some recipes on our site use white flour, and there are tips in the shopping guide below to help you select the most additive-free white flour available at the grocery store. Is additive-free white flour a health food? Absolutely not. But if you are going to eat white flour products on occasion, you’re much better off making homemade versions of those items (e.g., Alfredo sauce, sugar cookies) than ingesting the commercial, additive-filled packaged varieties you’d find at the store!