Over the last few years I have been checking the labels on the food I buy. I realise now I had no 'method' to deciding what was good or bad food.
Now that we have decided to head down the wholefoods path the distinction is a lot clearer about what is real food and what has been fiddled with too much.
Here is a little test for you. Most people have soy sauce in their cupboard, go grab yours. Read the ingredients...quite a few right? Now, I have done this little test myself and have since found an organic soy sauce - 1. water 2. organic soybeans (22%) 3. organic wheat 4. salt
Got any more than that on your label? How many?
While I don't subscribe to thinking that organic = magical health benefits, the restrictions placed on organic foods means there are no unnecessary ingredients or preservatives which results in a more natural, whole food.
But you don't have to just grab organic versions of everything (unless you want to make an easy choice without looking too much) start reading labels and comparing the ingredients of your families foods. Less ingredients is generally better as less has been done to it. Look at labels critically, ask yourself the question, could I make this myself from ingredients in a normal pantry? If the answer is no, I tend to put it back either because it is not 'real food' i.e. fruit roll-ups or there isn't a great option in the selection i.e. pasta.
Start reading the labels and decide for yourself if consuming all those extra ingredients is necessary when another brand can do it with less? Every time you purchase one of these products you send a message to your supermarket that this is the type of food you want them to stock - keep voting this way and more choice WILL come your way.
I have noticed Coles is coming out with their own line of organic Coles brand foods - I don't think they did this without their customers constantly purchasing the organic foods already available and hence they roll out their own to compete.